The Cleveland Indians have acquired infielder Justin Sellers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, according to a team announcement. To make room for Sellers on the 40-man roster, the team designated first baseman David Cooper for assignment.
Sellers, 28, will likely serve as a utility infielder for the Indians this season after seeing major league time at second base, shortstop and third base over the last three years with the Dodgers. He is a lifetime .199 hitter with 3 HR and 17 RBI in 82 major league games, and hit .270 with 6 HR and 65 RBI in 89 games with Triple-A Albuquerque last season.
The Indians already have Elliot Johnson and Mike Aviles as backup options behind Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis, so the addition of Sellers is an interesting one. He will likely get a look during spring training and will make the major league roster if he impresses more than Johnson or Aviles.
Cooper, 27, signed a major league contract with the Indians in December and was expected to provide depth at first base behind Nick Swisher. As MLB.com's Jordan Bastian notes, Cleveland will bring Cooper back to camp as a non-roster invite if he clears waivers, giving him the chance to compete for a spot on the roster as well. While it is a surprise that he was so quickly jettisoned from the 40-man roster this early in camp, it could be a result of the recurring spinal issues that he has been dealing with for the past few seasons.