Fred Lewis, who spent last season with the Reds, has inked a minor-league deal with the Indians that includes an invitation to spring training.
Lewis struggled last season, hitting just .230 with a .638 OPS in 81 games while spending time on the disabled list with an oblique injury, but he’s generally been a pretty solid fourth outfielder or platoon starter.
From 2007-2010 he hit .271 with a .347 on-base percentage and .417 slugging percentage in 423 games for the Giants and Blue Jays, so while aging and injuries mean he’s no longer a capable defensive center fielder he could be a useful left-handed bench bat in Cleveland.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.