The Indians today announced the club has signed free agent right-handed pitchers Travis Banwart and Tyler Cloyd and outfielder Matt Carson to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to big league camp at spring training.
Banwart, 27, had spent his professional career to date in Oakland’s organization after being the A’s 4th-round pick in 2007 out of Wichita State University. He’s spent the last four seasons at Triple-A Sacramento, including last year going 10-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 29 games (23 starts) with the River Cats. Over a span of 131 innings, Banwart struck out 125 and walked 67 and finished strong by going 6-0 with a 4.03 ERA over his final 11 starts. In 2012, he owned the eighth-lowest ERA (3.85) in a Pacific Coast League known for its hitter-friendly parks.
The veteran Carson, 32, will start his second season within the Indians organization after spending a majority of last year at Triple-A Columbus. In 2013, he hit .252 with 16 doubles, 14 home runs, 49 RBI, 57 runs scored and had 14 stolen bases in 121 games with the Clippers. Carson also contributed to the Tribe’s American League Wild Card run over the last month of the season. He hit .636 (7-for-11) in 20 games with a home run and three RBI, including a game-winning, 11th-innin single Sept. 19th against Houston.
Cloyd, 26, was recently non-tendered by the Indians after being claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies Oct. 2nd. He split last season between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the big league club, going 5-9 with a 4.71 ERA in 19 Triple-A starts. The 2012 International League Pitcher of the Year split that season between Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley, combining to go 15-1 with a 2.26 ERA in 26 starts as well as making his major league debut in six games for the Phillies.