CINCINNATI -- Still intent on shoring up their infield, the Giants obtained 15-year veteran Orlando Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night for Minor League outfielder Thomas Neal.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Cabrera, 36, will become the club's primary shortstop. Cabrera has played 83 of his 90 games this season at second base for Cleveland, which has American League All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop. But moving back to short, where he has played 1,807 games, shouldn't be a problem for Cabrera.
Left unanswered was what the Giants will do with Miguel Tejada when he's activated from the disabled list. Tejada, who's recovering from a lower abdominal strain and is eligible for activation Thursday, signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal before the season to be San Francisco's shortstop. But the Giants have been disappointed with Tejada's lack of range on defense and subpar hitting, as illustrated by his .242 batting average, .274 on-base percentage and .334 slugging percentage. Bochy indicated that the Giants will address the Tejada issue when he regains his health and is ready to play.
Cabrera hasn't exactly outperformed Tejada at the plate. A right-handed batter, Cabrera is hitting .244 with four home runs, 38 RBIs, a .277 on-base percentage and a .321 slugging percentage. Cabrera also has participated in six of the past seven postseasons with Boston (2004), the Los Angeles Angels (2005, 2007), the Chicago White Sox (2008), Minnesota (2009) and Cincinnati (2010).
Bochy indicated that with Tejada sidelined, the Giants wanted another right-handed-batting shortstop immediately. They were forced to start left-handed-batting Mike Fontenot on Friday against Reds lefty Dontrelle Willis. The alternative would have been rookie Brandon Crawford, another left-handed hitter who's an excellent defender but is hitting .190. Crawford is likely to return to the Minor Leagues when Cabrera joins the Giants.
"It's tough for him," Bochy said of Crawford. "He's done a nice job, but it's hard for him to hit Major League pitching when he hasn't played a lot at higher levels. We felt we needed an experienced guy there who's accustomed to playing shortstop every day in the Major Leagues."
The Giants will be Cabrera's ninth team. In 1,945 games with his previous eight, he has batted .273 with 122 home runs.
"I think he's a good player," said Giants reliever Guillermo Mota, who played with Cabrera from 1999-2001 for Montreal. "He can help [us] a little bit here."
Neal, 23, had spent six years in the Giants organization. He was batting .295 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 60 games for Triple-A Fresno.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.