The Indians have signed Ryan Raburn to a minor league deal with an invite to the team’s major league camp for Spring Training, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Ryburn was released by the Detroit earlier this off-season following a dismal 2012 season for the 31 year old infielder.
Raburn hit just .171/.226/.254 in 205 plate appearances last season with the Tigers, making it two consecutive seasons of below replacement level performances for the versatile utility man. Raburn was set to enter his third arbitration season and after making $2.1M for 2012, he was almost certainly going to be too expense for Detroit to keep around. Prior to 2011, however, Raburn had been a plus hitter in his career and he will get a chance to show Cleveland he can still be that player.
Defensively, Raburn has been versatile, playing left field, third base and second base extensively, but his glove has been a liability anywhere but left field. Ultimate Zone Rating, Total Zone and Defensive Runs Saved all rate him as well below average at second and third.
Raburn is unlikely to give the Indians anything more than some minor league depth this coming season, but he could be a useful emergency option in left if he finds the power stroke he had in Detroit prior to 2011.