Indians add outfield depth by signing Will Venable

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Veteran outfielder Will Venable has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Indians that includes an invitation to spring training, giving Cleveland some much-needed outfield depth with Michael Brantley likely to begin the season on the disabled list.

Venable was a semi-regular for the Padres from 2009 through the middle of last season, hitting .252 with a solid .727 OPS in 918 games despite calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home. He struggled following a midseason trade to the Rangers last year and in general has seen his production decline in recent years, so at age 33 he’s likely best suited for a part-time role.

Once everyone is healthy the Indians are expected to use Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Abraham Almonte as their starting outfield and Rajai Davis was brought in to be the primary reserve outfielder, leaving Venable to battle with guys like Collin Cowgill for a backup gig.