Leo: Stocking Stuffers
Sticking with the holiday theme, here are some of the latest happenings to report:
* The Indians have signed infielder Andy LaRoche to a minor league contract with an invite to major league camp. LaRoche, 28, has played parts of five big league seasons with the Dodgers, Pirates, and Athletics. He was Pittsburgh’s everyday third baseman in 2009, batting .258 in 150 games. He carries a .228 career average in the majors.
He will be vying for an infield utility position with the Tribe.
LaRoche is the younger brother of Adam (with the Nationals) and son of Dave, who pitched for Cleveland (’75-’77) as part of a 14-year MLB career.
* The following players are the non 40-man roster invitees to spring training: INF Andy LaRoche, INF Jose Lopez, OF Felix Pie, CA Luke Carlin, CA Matt Pagnozzi, CA Michel Hernandez. There will be more added so stay tuned!
* Former Clippers/Indians utility player Chris Gimenez has re-signed with Seattle. This is not a surprise considering how well he is liked by skipper Eric Wedge, Gimenez first made it to the bigs when Wedge was in Cleveland.
* Former highly touted prospect Adam Miller has signed a minor league deal with the Yankees. Miller was the 31st overall pick in the 2003 draft, but suffered a finger ligament injury that forced four surgeries in 2009 and 2010.
He returned to the field last season, pitching in High-A and Double-A.
* Former Indians Ben Francisco (traded from Phillies to Blue Jays) and Jason Michaels (minor league contract with the Nationals) have both found new homes.
Francisco, 30, played parts of three seasons in Cleveland (’07-’09) and was traded at the ’09 deadline to the Phillies as part of the Cliff Lee deal that landed Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Donald.
Michaels, 35, has spent the last three years with Houston. He was with the Tribe from ’06 to’08, acquired from Philadelphia for LHP Arthur Rhodes. He played 249 games in the Cleveland outfield and was designated for assignment during the 2008 season.
* Former Clippers pitchers Ryan Edell (Orioles), Shane Lindsay (Dodgers), and Zach Jackson (Rangers) have inked minor league contracts for next season.
Edell and Jackson are both lefties. Edell pitched for Lehigh Valley last season and lost to the Clippers in the clinching fourth game of the Governors’ Cup Finals.
* Pitchers and Catchers are scheduled to report to Goodyear on February 20th, that’s 60 days from Thursday.
Here are the tentative early camp dates:
Feb. 20 – Pitchers/Catchers report
Feb. 21 – Pitchers/Catchers physicals
Feb. 22 – First workout
Feb. 23 – Position players report
Feb. 24 – Position player physicals
Feb. 25 – First full-squad workout
* Major League Baseball seems to be getting closer to an international draft. The new CBA includes the formation of the International Talent Committee, a group that will discuss a draft, examine changes to the ages international amateur players are eligible to be signed, regulations for international amateurs’ agents and how Cuban players should be treated due to their political realities.
I’ll be back after taking a holiday break!