Indians trade Burns, acquire Cunningham
December 16, 2011
The Indians have completed a trade today sending Double-A Akron right-handed reliever Cory Burns to the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Aaron Cunningham.
Cunningham, 25, split the 2011 season between Triple-A Tucson and the San Diego Major League club. At Tucson he hit .329 (112-for-340) with 34 doubles, 4 triples, 9 HR and 63 RBI in 87 games (.398 OBP, .532 SLG, .930 OPS). With the Padres he hit .178 (16-for-90) with 6 2B, 3 HR and 9RBI in 52 games. He hit .227 (10-for-44) with 2 HR and 4 RBI in 23 games away from Petco Park. He owns a career batting average of .231 (82-for-355) with 27 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR and 44 RBI in 150 games with Oakland and San Diego, and owns a career average of .256 (33-for-129) off left-handed pitching (.741 OPS).
Cunningham was a 6th round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and was traded to Arizona in June 2007 and later dealt to Oakland in December of that year in the seven-player deal that sent right-handed pitcher Dan Haren from Oakland to Arizona. His minor league career average is .306 (749-for-2450) in 645 games and he entered the 2009 season ranked the 55th overall prospect in all the minors according to Baseball America.
Burns was the Tribe’s 8th round selection in 2009 and went 2-5 with a 2.11 ERA in 54 relief appearances for Double-A Akron in 2011. He was once again one of the top save men in all the minors as his 35 saves were tied for 2nd most in all of Minor League Baseball. He was 35-for-37 in save opportunities and broke the single season save record at Double-A Akron. He finished 2nd in the Eastern League in appearances (54), 1st in saves (35), 1st in games finished (52), 5th among relievers in batting average against (.220), 3rd among relievers in K/9 (10.6), 1st among relievers BB/9 (1.9), and 1st among relievers in fewest baserunners per nine innings (9.4).
The Indians designated right-handed pitcher Josh Judy for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster to add Cunningham.
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