The Indians announced this afternoon that they signed left-handed reliever Scott Downs to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Downs will receive a base salary of $800,000 if he makes the team out of spring training.
Downs landed a one-year, $4.25 million contract with the White Sox last offseason, but he posted an ugly 6.08 ERA over 38 appearances with the club before being released in early July. He latched on with the Royals from there, but was limited to just 17 appearances due to a neck injury and put up a 3.14 ERA and 3/5 K/BB ratio over 14 1/3 innings. Kansas City did not include him on their postseason roster.
Downs turns 39 in March and saw a sharp drop in velocity last season, so he might be done as an effective late-inning pitcher in the majors, but it’s worth a shot for the Indians to still see if he has something left in the tank.