Indians sign Bryan LaHair to minor league contract

Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

The 2012 NL All-Star returns to the US after spending 2013 in Japan.

The Cleveland Indians have signed first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair to a minor league deal that includes a spring training invite, according to a team announcement. LaHair spent 2013 with the Fukoka Softbank Hawks, but was released last month and became a free agent after exercising his opt-out clause.

LaHair, 31, will try to earn a spot on the Indians as a bench bat or designated hitter, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. He is one of many solid veterans who are invited to spring training with the Tribe, joining infielders Jason Giambi and Elliot Johnson, outfielders Nyjer Morgan and Jeff Francoeur, catcher Matt Treanor and pitchers Shaun Marcum, David Aardsma and Matt Capps.

In 111 games with Fukuoka last season, LaHair hit .230 with 16 HR and 57 RBI. The Worcester, MA native was a National League All-Star with the Cubs in 2012 after a strong start to the season, and finished the year with a .259 average, 16 HR and 40 RBI.

In parts of three major league seasons with the Mariners (2008) and Cubs (2011-2012), LaHair is a lifetime .260 average with 21 HR and 56 RBI in 195 games.

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