Indians signed OF Jeremy Hermida to a minor league contract.
Hermida, a former top prospect, hit just .250/.333/.375 across 27 plate appearances last season for the Padres. He’s doubtful to make a big impact in Cleveland.
Vinnie Pestano wrote on his Twitter account Monday that he might be in the best shape of his life.
“Best shape I’ve been in a long time,” tweeted the Indians reliever. “Maybe ever.” Pestano has posted an exceptional 2.50 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 11.0 K/9 through 137 career major league innings. He could take over ninth-inning duties from Chris Perez at some point this season.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Carlos Carrasco (elbow) will be on an innings limit this season.
“In Carlos’ case,” Antonetti said, “we do have to be cognizant of him completing his rehab process and his innings restrictions this year.” Though Antonetti didn’t specify what the number would be, the club obviously doesn’t want to overwork the 25-year-old in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. Carrasco has been given a clean bill of health heading into spring training, though, and will compete for one of the final two spots in the rotation. He holds some intrigue in deeper formats.
Indians signed RHP Matt Capps to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Capps earned $4.5 million with the Twins last season while posting a 3.68 ERA and 18/4 K/BB ratio over 29 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old right-hander was limited to just three appearances after the All-Star break due to shoulder issues, but he should have a good chance to win a bullpen spot with the Indians if he’s healthy.
Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that Travis Hafner’s deal with the Yankees is worth around $2 million guaranteed.
Chad Jennings of the Journal News reported Thursday afternoon that the two sides have a deal in place. It’s a nice low-cost gamble for the Bombers, as Hafner could thrive with the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Of course, he’s a poor bet to stay healthy.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com hears that the Yankees might be close to a deal with free agent designated hitter Travis Hafner.
If signed, Hafner would project as the team’s primary designated hitter against right-handed pitching. The 35-year-old batted .228/.346/.438 with 12 home runs and a .784 OPS in 66 games with the Indians last season while battling knee and back injuries.
Vinny Rottino has signed a one-year contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League.
The deal is worth $350,000 guaranteed and carries another $100,000 in performance-based incentives. Rottino, 32, batted just .148/.232/.328 in 71 plate appearances last season between the Mets and Indians.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Travis Hafner and Jim Thome are among free agent hitters being considered by the Indians.
The Indians declined Hafner’s $13 million option for 2013 in October, but they aren’t against bringing him back at a lesser salary. The 42-year-old Thome, who played for the Indians from 1991-2002 and again 2011, is working out in hopes of getting a worthwhile offer. Heyman hears that there has been some buzz about a possible reunion with Manny Ramirez, but one person familiar with the Indians’ thinking said that he’s not a consideration at this point.
Indians signed OF Ben Francisco to a minor league contract.
He’ll be in big league camp in spring training and has a good shot at cracking the Opening Day roster. Francisco batted just .240/.285/.385 with four homers and a .670 OPS last season between the Blue Jays, Astros and Rays. He’s a career .257/.326/.425 hitter across six seasons.