The Indians on Monday signed free-agent utility player Nate Spears to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to major-league spring training camp.

Last season, Spears, 27, batted .240 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI in 108 games at Pawtucket, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Spears played every position except pitcher, catcher and center field. In April, Spears played three games for the Red Sox in place of Jacoby Ellsbury, who was injured.

Spears, a left-handed batter, also played in the Baltimore Orioles’ and Chicago Cubs’ organizations.

The Tribe also outrighted right-hander Fabio Martinez to Triple-A Columbus on Monday after he was designated for assignment Nov. 20.

Longtime coach dies

Longtime minor-league manager/pitching coach and consultant Ken Rowe died of pneumonia on Thanksgiving Day after spending 59 years in professional baseball, much of it in the Indians’ organization.

Rowe, 78, spent 21 years in the Tribe’s player development system as a minor-league coach and last year as an adviser. He was pitching coach at Akron and Canton from 1992-1994 and worked at virtually every level of the Indians’ minor-league system.

After signing with the Detroit Tigers in 1953, Rowe pitched professionally for 15 seasons and worked in the bullpen with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Orioles in the 1960s.

— Sheldon Ocker