Carl Crawford undergoes Tommy John surgery

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Carl Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow today. And I’ll save you the suspense: the surgery was successful.

Here’s a statement from the Red Sox, via Maureen A. Mullen of CSNNE.com:

“Carl Crawford underwent a successful left elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) performed by Dr. James Andrews today in Pensacola, FL. We expect Carl to make a full recovery.”

Having the surgery now rather than in October gives Crawford a better chance of contributing in the early part of 2013, but he’s far from a sure thing to be ready for the start of the season. So yes, you can expect lots of drama on that topic during spring training.

Crawford was limited to just 30 games this season due to wrist and elbow issues and has a disappointing .260/.292/.419 batting line over his first two seasons with Boston. The 31-year-old outfielder still has five years and $102.5 million left on his contract.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.