Indians add four to roster, outright LaPorta and others
The Cleveland Indians today announced that they have purchased the contracts of outfielder Tim Fedroff, right-handed reliever Chen-Chang Lee, right-handed pitcher Trey Haley, and left-handed pitcher T.J. House and added them to the 40-man roster. All were up for roster protection and if they were not rostered by the end of today they would have been subject to the Rule 5 Draft on December 6th.
Fedroff, 25, hit a combined .316 (148-468) with 79 runs scored, 23 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs and 54 RBI in 123 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus (.394OB/.485SLG/.879OPS) in 2012. Among hitters in the Indians Player Development system, he finished 3rd in batting average and runs scored and led the system in base hits. He is a career .296 (555-1872) hitter at the Minor League level since being selected in the 7th round of the 2008 draft out of the University of North Carolina.
Lee, 26, was limited to 5 relief appearances at AAA Columbus in 2012 (2-0, 2.57ERA) before experiencing right elbow soreness that eventually led to reconstructive surgery on June 1. The native of Peng-Hu, Taiwan owns a 4-year career Minor League record of 17-11 with a 3.00 ERA in 138 relief appearances (234.1IP, 184H, 78ER, 74BB, 286K, .216AVG).
Haley, 22, split the 2012 season between Class-A Carolina and Class-AA Akron with a rehab stop in Arizona, going a combined 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA in 25 relief appearances (38.2IP, 26H, 10ER, 19BB, 49K, .188AVG). He did not allow a home run for the season and averaged 11.4 strikeouts per 9.0IP while missing 7 weeks of the season (May 23-July 14) due to surgery to repair a sports hernia. He also recently posted an ERA of 1.64 (11.0IP, 2H, 2R/ER, .065AVG) in the Arizona Fall League for Scottsdale.
House, 23, spent the 2012 season between Class-A Carolina and Class-AA Akron where he went a combined 10-5 with 3.56 ERA in 27 starts (149.1IP, 131H, 59ER, 50BB, 116K, .236AVG) and yielded just 8 home runs in 149.1 innings of work. He finished 4th among Indians farmhands in innings, tied for 3rd in wins and 3rd in strikeouts. He recently completed a stint in the Arizona Fall League, going 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 6 starts (27.0IP, 20H, 9R/ER, 9BB, 26K, .208AVG). The Picayune, Mississippi native owns a 4-year Minor League record of 28-38 with a 3.93 ERA in 105 games/103 starts (549.1IP, 526H, 240ER, 420K).
To allow room on the 40-man roster the Indians today outrighted infielder Matt LaPorta and infielder Brent Lillibridge to Triple-A Columbus and designated right-handed reliever Fabio Martinez for assignment. LaPorta cannot refuse his assignment and is the property of the Indians for the 2013 season, but Lillibridge can refuse assignment and would become a free agent. The Indians have ten days to trade, release or outright Martinez. The 40-man roster currently sits at 40 players (Nick Hagadone still does not count toward the roster).
A more thorough breakdown of the roster decisions and what the future may hold for those not rostered will be posted to the site in the morning.
Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.