This is a potpourri of minor signings and trades made by the Cleveland Indians this off-season:
Traded SP Jeanmar Gomez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Quincy Latimore – This trade was made so the Indians could find some room on its 40-man roster. Gomez was given a number of chances to stick as a starter but low strikeout rates and a general lack of performance have made him a long reliever and not a long term solution in the rotation. Latimore is 23 and is slightly old for AA and does not have good on-base skills which might keep him from making the majors. He does have athletic upside and if he does develop some more patience could become a fourth outfielder.
Signed RP Jerry Gil and RP Edward Paredes – Gil is 30 and has not pitched in MLB yet. He’s an interesting case because he is a converted shortstop. Paredes pitched in the Seattle Mariners system from 2006 to 2011 and I cannot find where he pitched in 2012. Both of these signings look like they are made to help fill the bullpen in AAA Columbus.
Signed SP Scott Kazmir – Kazmir pitched in the independent leagues last year and showed enough for the Indians to give him an invitation to spring training. It is highly unlikely he will become a starter but the Indians do not have veteran left-handed options in the bullpen this year. This is a low risk signing with the potential for a high reward.
Signed Matt Antonelli – Antonelli was a 2006 1st round pick by the San Diego Padres. He has 21 games of MLB experience in 2008 and has been a AAA hitter since. He will probably play in Columbus all year as he does not have a primary defensive position and had a very poor 2012 AAA season after a good 2011.
Selected 1B Chris McGuiness in the Rule V draft – McGuiness is 25 and has not played above AA but he did have a good age 24 season and will get a chance to stick with the major league team. I have my doubts but the cost is virtually nothing so it was worth a shot.
Claimed 1B Mike McDade off waivers – McDade provides a switch-hitting option at first base and he will start the year in Columbus but could become an option down the road.
Claimed RP Blake Wood off waivers – Wood is a reliever who missed all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. He had a 95 MPH fastball with the Kansas City Royals in 2010 and 2011 and gives the Indians another power arm for their bullpen.
We will continue with our look into the Indians` off-season later this week.