The Indians have reached agreement on a minor-league deal with free-agent left-hander Joe Thatcher, according to a baseball source. The deal will pay Thatcher a base salary of $1 million if he makes the majors, and includes $1.2 million in incentives that can push its full value to $2.2 million.
Thatcher is the third addition in two days for the Indians, who agreed to deals with Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis on Wednesday.
Thatcher, 34, posted a 3.18 ERA in 43 appearances with the Astros last season after signing a minor-league deal with Houston in February. His numbers were inflated by a higher walk rate than usual (4.8 BB/9), though he was still able to strike out 26 batters in 22.2 innings of work.
Cleveland was known to be looking for left-handed bullpen help on the free-agent market, as Thatcher will join Kyle Crockett and Giovanni Soto as southpaws in the mix for a spot. The market for free-agent lefties is expected to be active following the signing of Tony Sipp to a 3-year deal with Houston last week.
Thatcher is a veteran of nine major-league seasons with the Padres (2007-13), Diamondbacks (2013-14), Angels (2014) and Astros (2015). He has posted a lifetime 11-16 record and 3.38 ERA in 405 relief appearances.