Indians, Padres Swap Infielders
CLEVELAND (AP) _ The Cleveland Indians traded third baseman Corey Smith, a former first-round pick who never met expectations, to the San Diego Padres for infielder Jake Gautreau on Wednesday.
Smith was selected with the 26th overall pick in 2000 by the Indians, who had hoped he could develop into a power-hitting everyday infielder. However, the 22-year-old had problems with his fielding and struck out too often.
He batted .249 with 19 homers and 66 RBIs in 128 games for Double-A Akron, striking out 128 times in 454 at-bats. Smith, who played in five games at Triple-A Buffalo in 2004, was designated for assignment on Jan. 18 when the Indians signed infielder Alex Cora.
Gautreau was also a first-round pick, taken 14th overall by the Padres in 2001. The former Tulane star hit a combined .266 while in Double-A and Triple-A last season. In 48 games at Triple-A Portland, the left-hander batted .274 with nine homers and 35 RBIs.