Indians sign Kelly Shoppach to minor league deal
The Cleveland Indians today signed free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach to a minor league contract and assigned him to the Triple-A Columbus roster.
Shoppach, 33, signed with the Seattle Mariners in the off-season and spent the first two and a half months of the season with Seattle where he hit .196 (21-107) with 7 doubles, 3 home runs and 9 RBI in 35 games before being released on June 20. The Baylor University product later spent July in the Washington Nationals organization (AAA Syracuse) and August in the Pittsburgh Pirates system (AAA Indianapolis) before requesting his release on August 28.
The right-handed hitting catcher returns to the Indians organization where he spent four seasons from 2006-09 after being acquired from the Boston Red Sox in January of 2006. He owns a nine-year Major League batting average of .224 (361-1614) with 92 doubles, 70 home runs and 216 RBI in 571 games with five teams since debuting in 2005. He was originally selected in the 2001 draft (2nd round) by the Red Sox out of Baylor.
The Indians hinted on Thursday afternoon that they would be adding a third catcher to the major league roster when rosters expand on Sunday. Shoppach is expected to be that catcher and help provide the Indians with a depth option and more versatility late in games so that they can more freely have Carlos Santana or Yan Gomes as the designated hitter.
Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.