Jack Hannahan was one of three players with whom the Indians parted company Friday by failing to offer them contracts for 2013.
Veteran left-handed reliever Rafael Perez already had been designated for assignment, almost assuring that he would not return. Another lefty reliever, Chris Seddon, also was designated Friday to make room for a player claimed on waivers.
Undoubtedly General Manager Chris Antonetti’s most difficult decision was what to do with Hannahan, who was the club’s regular third baseman for most of 2011 and 2012. The decision to let go of Hannahan indicates the Tribe is ready to make a commitment to Lonnie Chisenhall, who played third for most of September, batting .257 with two home runs and seven RBI in 19 games.
Hannahan regressed from his surprisingly good season of 2011, when he won the third-base job on the strength of his defense but contributed several timely hits to the attack. For the season, he batted .250 with eight homers and 40 RBI in 110 games.
He committed only five errors in 2011, compared to his 2012 total of 14 in 105 games. He also slipped offensively last season, when he batted .244 with four homers and 29 RBI.
Perez was limited to eight relief appearances in 2012 because of a lat injury. He was eligible for arbitration and was already making $2 million, surely a consideration to being jettisoned. The Tribe also has several promising young relievers ready to compete for big-league jobs.
Seddon pitched in 17 games out of the bullpen and compiled a 3.67 ERA in 34⅓ innings.
The Indians signed right-hander Blake Wood to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration, even though the former Kansas City Royals reliever didn’t pitch last year.
Wood, 27, underwent elbow reconstruction surgery in May but is expected to return to the mound sometime next season. In 2011, he posted a 5-3 record with one save and a 3.75 ERA in 55 appearances (69⅔ innings). It was Wood’s second major-league season.
In 2012, Wood was paid $502,000. Reportedly, he received a small raise for 2013. The Tribe claimed him off the waiver wire on Nov. 2.
Surgery for Kluber
Starter Corey Kluber underwent a menisectomy to his right knee Friday at the Cleveland Clinic, with Dr. Rick Parker performing the arthroscopic procedure.
He sustained the injury playing with his daughter.
Kluber is expected to be free to participate in all activities by the time spring exhibition season begins late in February and is considered as a viable contender for the rotation.
The Indians made another waiver claim on Thursday, acquiring first baseman Mike McDade from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Last season, McDade, 23, played at Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas. He batted .275 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI in 100 games at New Hampshire before being promoted to Las Vegas, where he batted .338 with two homers and 18 RBI in 18 games.
McDade was the Jays’ sixth-round pick in the 2007 draft.
The Indians signed minor-league right-hander Fernando Nieve to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to big-league training camp.
Nieve, 30 pitched last season at Albuquerque, the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he compiled a 7-9 record and 5.96 ERA in 25 appearances, including 24 starts. He has pitched in the majors with the Houston Astros and New York Mets, posting an 8-11 record and 4.61 ERA 99 games, mostly as a reliever.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.