The Indians signed free-agent first baseman David Cooper to a major-league contract on the first day of the winter meetings Monday.
Still recovering from the back injury that derailed his once-promising career, Cooper, 26, was originally signed by the Tribe in August. He played in only 13 games between the rookie Arizona League club and Triple-A Columbus. Cooper batted .192 in seven games with the Clippers before requesting and being granted his release.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ first-round pick in 2008 (17th overall), made his major-league debut in 2011 before splitting the 2012 season between Triple-A Las Vegas and the big-league club. Cooper, a left-handed hitter, batted .314 with 27 doubles, 10 home runs and 52 RBI in 62 games to open the season at Las Vegas before being promoted to the Blue Jays in May.
He hit .300 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI in 45 games for the Blue Jays. But a back injury ended his season in late August. He had surgery to fuse a plate and screws into his vertebrae which led to his release.