Jay Bruce has been on Cleveland's radar for some time.
On Wednesday, the Indians finally landed the veteran outfielder.
Hours after putting All-Star Michael Brantley on the disabled list with an ankle injury, the Indians acquired Bruce from the New York Mets for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan.
With both Brantley and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall out with injuries, the defending AL champions were in the market for a proven outfielder with some power and Bruce fit the bill.
"Obviously, if both Michael and Lonnie are healthy and unrestricted at this point, we wouldn't have the opportunity for a player like Jay," Indians president Chris Antonetti said on a conference call.
"But, with Lonnie still at least a little ways off from being able to get out on a rehab assignment and get back to the active roster, and Michael sustaining the injury the other day, now we felt that bringing in Jay will help us while those guys are out."
Bruce, who is hitting .256 with 29 homers and 75 RBIs for the Mets, will give Indians protection while Brantley recovers. It's not known how long Brantley might be out with an injury sustained on Tuesday night.
The Mets are 11 games under .500 for the first time in three years and were eager to unload Bruce, who has $13 million salary this year and can become a free agent after the World Series. Cleveland agreed to pay the $3.7 million remaining of Bruce's salary.
New York, which is 16½ games behind Washington in the NL East, acquired Bruce from Cincinnati at last year's trade deadline.
And now the 30-year-old is right back playing in meaningful games with the AL Central leader. He will report to the Indians this weekend in Tampa.
Bruce is a three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. This season, he's played 91 games in right field and 11 games at first base.
"We've had interest in Jay for years," Antonetti said. "We've tried to acquire him at a number of different junctures in the past. I think what accelerated things for us was Michael sustaining his injury. Once that happened, we re-engaged the Mets and were able to work things out."
With Bruce, Cleveland manager Terry Francona and the defending AL champions have another proven bat who may be able to help them win their first World Series title since 1948. Cleveland lost Game 7 in last year's Series to the Chicago Cubs.
Ryan will be assigned to Columbia of the Class A South Atlantic League. He was 3-4 with six saves and a 4.79 ERA in 33 games for Class A Lake County of the Midwest League.
While Major League Baseball's trade deadline was July 31, a player can be dealt if he goes through waivers unclaimed.