KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Atlanta traded Josh Anderson to the Detroit Tigers Monday, increasing the chances that rookie Jordan Schafer will open the season as the Braves' center fielder.
Schafer, who is hitting .373 this spring, appears to have the edge over Gregor Blanco, who was away from the team most of spring training while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
"The center field job is still open," Atlanta general manager Frank Wren said. "It will be hard to keep two. We knew we couldn't keep all three."
In exchange for Anderson, who was out of options, the Braves received minor league pitcher Rudy Darrow. The side-arming reliever will be assigned to Double-A Mississippi. The 25-year-old right-hander split time between Class A West Michigan and Double-A Erie last season, going 5-3 with 10 saves and a 2.02 ERA.
"He's a prospect, absolutely," Wren said. "We feel good about getting an arm like that."
Wren said he began exploring trade options for Anderson after it was determined he was behind Schafer and Blanco in the center field competition.
"Baseball is a business obviously, but change is still hard," Anderson said.
Schafer, 22, played at Mississippi last year, hitting .269. He was suspended 50 games for violating the minor league drug policy.
Anderson hit .294 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 40 games with Atlanta last season. The 26-year-old also had 10 steals.
"He gives us a dimension that we really don't have, which is speed," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He is a genuine speed guy. He can steal bases. He's a very good defensive outfielder, so for us we thought he was a real good fit with the outfielders we have."
Dombrowski said Anderson will join the team today and will be on the Tigers' roster on opening day.
Tigers 3, Nationals 2
VIERA, Fla. - Armando Galarraga struck out nine in five innings, and Clete Thomas and Ryan Raburn homered for Detroit in an exhibition game.
Galarraga allowed two runs and two hits while walking one.
"I thought he was very sharp," Tigers manger Jim Leyland said. "He used his pitches extremely well, and he looked very comfortable doing it."
Indians 5, Padres 2
GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Travis Hafner hit his first homer since October shoulder surgery and Carl Pavano pitched effectively into the seventh inning for
Hafner opened the second inning with a homer off Kevin Correia. Pavano allowed runs in each of the first two innings, then retired 10 in a row. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out four.
INDIANS/OPENER: Cleveland's home opener April 10 against Toronto is sold out. It is the 16th consecutive home opener that has sold out for the Indians at Progressive Field since the ballpark opened in 1994. The club says fans can still attend the home opener by buying a season ticket.
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