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Chicago White Sox acquire 2B Cesar Hernandez from Cleveland Indians, reliever Ryan Tepera from Cubs

MLB, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs

The Chicago White Sox added a second baseman and a reliever in separate trades Thursday.

First, the White Sox acquired second baseman Cesar Hernandez from the Cleveland Indians for Double-A left-hander Konnor Pilkington. Later, the White Sox acquired right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera from the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs in exchange for Class-A left-hander Bailey Horn.

"It's kind of a unique thing for a trade to happen between crosstown rivals. I'm excited,'' Tepera said. "Obviously going to a first-place team, playoff contention, I'm looking forward to it.''

The White Sox have been in the market for a second baseman, and they get one in Hernandez, 31, who is hitting .231/.307/.431 with 18 homers in his second year with the Indians, who trail the White Sox by 8½ games.

"Cesar Hernandez provides our club with a valuable combination of a power bat in the middle infield and Gold Glove-quality defense," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "Adding a player like César gives [manager] Tony [La Russa] a strong and proven option at second base for the stretch run of the season and hopefully into October."

The White Sox lost Nick Madrigal for the season in June after he had surgery to repair tendon tears in his right hamstring.

Tepera, 33, has a 2.91 ERA in 43⅓ innings this season. He is 0-2 with one save. For his career, he has a 3.54 ERA over seven seasons.

"Ryan has been an extremely reliable bullpen arm this season and throughout his career,'' Hahn said in a statement. "We are very pleased to add him to our talented and versatile group of relievers. Across his career with the Blue Jays and Cubs, Ryan has succeeded in a variety of situations and has the ability to get both lefties and righties out at very high rates.''

The trade deadline is Friday, when Cleveland opens a three-game series in Chicago.

"We made the trade that we felt made the most sense for us and this is the direction we went,'' Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. "Just as we tried to be realistic in assessing where we are, we're going to continue to do our best to win as many games as possible.

"But the reality is the White Sox are a number of games in front of us and we're intent on improving. If they didn't acquire Cesar, we were pretty confident they were going to acquire another talented player from another team.''

Hernandez hit a two-run homer in Cleveland's 7-2 win over St. Louis on Wednesday.

The Indians have several young middle infielders in their system, including Andres Gimenez, who came over from the New York Mets in the offseason trade of Francisco Lindor.

Pilkington, 23, has pitched at Double-A Birmingham, where he went 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts. He did not pitch in 2020 because the minor league season was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pilkington was drafted in the third round by the White Sox in 2018.

Horn, 23, was selected by the White Sox in the fifth round of the 2020 draft. He is 2-3 with a 5.63 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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