Over the past few days the Indians have made a few minor roster moves that should be of note. The first helps facilitate the official signing of first baseman Mark Reynolds to his one-year, $6 million dollar contract.
To make room for Reynolds on the 40-man roster, the Indians made the semi-surprising decision to designate Russ Canzler for assignment, making him available to other teams. The Indians could retain his rights, and would probably like to, but the move is a little surprising considering Canzler not only played, but was given a meaningful opportunity at the tail end of 2012, where as someone like Thomas Neal, was just there.
It isn't the end for Canzler, but it does dent his chances for winning a roster spot, which is something that is definitely up for grabs with the Indians still not having signed an option for designated hitter or right field. With Canzler being able to play in left, it could have helped him, but the lack of roster spot could make him a little more than an afterthought, unless he wows the staff in spring training.
Meanwhile, the contract details on Mark Reynolds have come to light a little more. We knew he would have the chance to earn a little more through incentives, up to $1.5 million more in fact. All of that can be earned in plate appearances, with him being able to earn the full amount if he reaches the 600 plate appearance mark.
In addition to designating Russ Canzler, the Indians have brought in a few veterans as depth options for them to stash at Columbus and fill out their spring training roster. One name is very familiar, as they've brought back Joe Martinez on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Martinez returns after a year in the Diamondbacks system. He spent 2011 with the Indians, earning Triple-A International League Playoff MVP honors in the Clippers last title run. He filled a valuable swing role for the Clips and is someone the Indians can turn to if they need a reliever or a starter at any point.
They also signed catcher Brian Jeroloman, formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Jeroloman can fill the backup or even starting catcher role in Columbus in 2013, or extreme last resort catching option if both Carlos Santana, Lou Marson or Yan Gomes all somehow cannot play. Luke Carlin was able to fill the Indians role as second backup in 2012 and was a member of the Clippers squad for a few seasons until he signed a deal with the Angels this offseason. He saw some time when Carlos Santana had suffered a concussion last year, so if there was ever a need, right now it looks like Jeroloman is that guy.
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