The Indians traded for Jason Kubel. From one depth move to another, they just announced that they signed Kelly Shoppach to a minor league deal. He’ll report to Triple-A.
Shoppach, who is 33, played for the Indians between 2006 and 2009. He started this year with the Seattle Mariners where he didn’t hit. The M’s released on June 20, after which the Nats picked him up and stashed him in Syracuse. They released him and he’s recently been with the Pirates organization but requested his release on August 28. Not surprisingly, this coincided with the Pirates trading for John Buck, effectively eliminating any chance Shoppach had to make the big club in September.
Now on to Cleveland. Or, rather, Columbus.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.