Buffalo Bisons reliever Danny Graves and former Herd shortstop Damian Jackson were traded by the Cleveland Indians this afternoon to the Cincinnati Reds as part of a package to acquire veteran pitcher John Smiley.
Along with Graves and Jackson, Cleveland sent Double-A pitchers James Crowell and Scott Winchester to the Reds for Smiley and infielder Jeff Branson.
Smiley is only 9-10 with a 5.23 earned run average for Cincinnati this season, but he is a left-handed starter. The Indians have long wanted a lefty in their rotation to combat left-handed bats on American League rivals such as the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles.
Graves was 2-3 with a 4.19 earned run average and two saves for the Bisons this year. He earned the win in Tuesday night's victory over New Orleans at North AmeriCare Park in his first game back after missing a month due to tendinitis. Graves was 4-3 with 19 saves and a 1.48 ERA for Buffalo last year.
Jackson, who had made three trips between Buffalo and Cleveland this year, hit .293 with four homers and 13 RBIs for the Herd. He is tied for fourth in the American Association with 20 stolen bases.
Winchester leads all of minor-league baseball with 30 saves, 29 of them coming at Class A Kinston. He has one save and a 3.86 ERA at Akron, and was likely to be a key part of Buffalo's bullpen in 1998. Crowell was 1-0, 4.50 at Akron.
Branson, a 30-year-old utility man, hit .211 with one homer and four RBIs at Triple-A Indianapolis. He's expected to take Jackson's place on the Cleveland roster. Jackson is likely to go to Cincinnati, with Graves initially expected to be sent to Indianapolis.