Transactions: Indians Sign Spears to Minor-League Deal

Elsa

The Indians continue to add to their NRI list

So far, no major-league transactions beyond the Esmil Rogers deal, but the Indians have been active in minor-league free agency...

Signed UT Nate Spears to a minor-league deal

Spears was drafted by the Orioles in 2003, spending most of his younger years as either a full-time shortstop or second baseman. He was dealt to the Chicago Cubs organization in 2006 for Corey Patterson, and although he made it as high as AAA Iowa, he didn't get a shot in the big leagues with the Cubs. He became a minor-league free agent after the 2009 season, signed with the Red Sox, and has spent most of the of the last three seasons as a utility man in the minors, playing all over the diamond, including a couple short stints on the mound. Last season in Pawtucket he played mostly at third and second, though he also played some at first (5 games), shortstop (1 game), and the outfield (3).

Spears isn't much of a hitter, which is why he's only gotten 8 major-league plate appearances. Still, he's a valuable player to have on a minor-league roster, and I'm fairly certain that Terry Francona had a lot to do with him coming to Cleveland.

UT Brent Lillibridge refused outright assignment

Speaking of utility players, Lillibridge is now a free agent after refusing his outright assignment. With the Indians' acquisition of Mike Aviles and the presence of both Jason Donald and Cord Phelps on the roster, Lillibridge wasn't likely to make the 25-man roster with the Indians, especially now that he's off the 40-man roster.

Sent RHP Fabio Martinez outright to Columbus (AAA)

That Martinez was sent outright to Columbus' roster is a misnomer, since he's only gotten as high as high-A ball, and has struggled to boot. Martinez' stuff is outstanding, but his control has been awful, so perhaps a shift to the bullpen will help.

Year Age Tm Lg G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2003 18 BAL-min Rk 56 231 38 52 7 5 1 19 18 5 40 32 .289 .427 .400 .827
2004 19 BAL-min A 97 431 50 102 12 11 5 38 7 6 47 63 .275 .358 .407 .765
2005 20 BAL-min A+ 112 498 63 131 30 6 6 41 8 4 36 82 .294 .349 .429 .778
2006 21 CHC-min A+ 97 369 45 79 15 1 1 25 7 4 31 53 .246 .323 .308 .632
2007 22 CHC-min A+,AA 116 435 58 99 15 5 5 37 6 1 41 63 .273 .358 .383 .741
2008 23 CHC-min AA,AAA 120 494 76 120 23 5 7 52 7 5 61 72 .299 .394 .433 .827
2009 24 CHC-min AAA 128 411 48 93 20 4 2 37 6 5 35 43 .253 .319 .345 .665
2010 25 BOS-min AA 136 620 104 140 30 4 20 82 13 1 84 93 .272 .380 .463 .843
2011 26 BOS-min AAA 96 378 49 78 19 2 8 45 13 1 49 69 .248 .355 .397 .751
2011 26 BOS AL 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
2012 27 BOS-min AAA 108 395 46 83 16 4 10 38 3 2 43 86 .240 .329 .396 .725
2012 27 BOS AL 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000
2 Yrs 7 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000 .000 .000 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/28/2012.
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