Cleveland Indians Sign Ryan Raburn to a Minor League Deal

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IJanuary 21, 2013

The Cleveland Indians continued to retool their team when they signed former Detroit Tiger Ryan Raburn to a minor league deal that included an invitation to spring training. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the deal via his Twitter feed. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported during the negotiations. 

Raburn had a down year with the 2012 Detroit Tigers. He was the starting second baseman in spring training but wound up batting just .171 in 66 games for the American League Champions.

He lost his starting job to Omar Infante and was not a factor for the rest of the season.

But, as Chris Iott of Mlive.com wrote, Raburn is a notoriously slow starter who gives Indians manager Terry Francona some versatility. He has been a starting second baseman and outfielder in his six full big league seasons.

He compiled double digit home run seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2009, his OPS was .891. And he clubbed a pair of home runs in the 2011 ALCS against the Texas Rangers.

The Tigers released him after one bad year to avoid arbitration, but that could be the Indians' gain. If 2012 was a fluke, then Cleveland managed to steal an infielder/outfielder with power away from a division rival.

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