The Indians signed three more players to minor-league contracts that include invitations to major-league spring training, including left-hander Scott Kazmir, who has all but officially belonged to the Tribe since before Christmas.
In addition to Kazmir, the Indians signed right-hander Jerry Gil and lefty Edward Paredes.
Kazmir, 28, was once one of the brighter pitching prospects in baseball, making his major-league debut for the 2004 Tampa Bay Rays at age 20. In his first four full seasons, Kazmir compiled a 45-34 record and a 3.64 ERA.
Beginning in 2009, Kazmir began to experience injuries that carried through the 2010 season and included problems with his elbow, shoulder and hamstring. He was traded in August of 2009 to the Los Angeles Angels, where his fortunes declined further. By 2012, he was pitching in the independent Atlantic League.
Kazmir will join a growing list of competitors for one or two spots in the rotation. General Manager Chris Antonetti announced last week that Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers have locked up starting jobs, and that Zach McAllister has a “leg up” on the fourth slot. Other contenders are Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber.
Gil, 30, appeared in 30 big-league games in 2004 and 2007 as a position player, converting to pitcher in 2008. In 2012, he pitched out of the bullpen for Triple-A Las Vegas (Toronto Blue Jays), compiling a 7-1 record and nine saves with a 4.92 ERA in 58 appearances.
Paredes, 26, is still waiting to make his big-league debut, having pitched in the Seattle Mariners’ organization for seven years. In 2012, he pitched out of the bullpen for Estrellas in the Dominican Republic.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.