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Indians sign three pitchers to minor league deals

Indians sign three pitchers to minor league deals
January 8, 2013
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Today the Indians announced that they have officially signed free agent left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir, right-handed pitcher Jerry Gil, and left-handed pitcher Edward Paredes to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to Major League camp this spring.

Kazmir, 28, did not pitch with a Major League organization last season as he pitched in independent ball for Sugar Land in the Atlantic League and in 14 starts went 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA (64.0 IP, 74 H, 8 HR, 33 B, 51 K).  He last pitched with a Major League organization in 2011 when he made six total appearances between the Angels and their Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate. He owns a career Major League pitching record of 66-61 with a 4.17 ERA in 179 starts with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels from 2004-2011 and was an American League All-Star in 2006 and 2008.

Gil, 30, appeared in 30 Major League games in 2004 and 2007 as a position player before being converted to the mound prior to the 2008 season. He owns a career minor league pitching record of 23-26 with 22 saves and a 5.63 ERA in 205 games (18 GS, 305.1 IP, 324 H, 235K).  He spent the 2012 season in the Toronto Blue Jays system at Triple-A Las Vegas (7-1, 9 SV, 4.92 ERA) and tied for the Pacific Coast League lead with 58 relief appearances.  This offseason he posted a winter ball ERA of 1.52 in 24 games (8 SV, 23.2 IP, 19 H, 4 ER, .20 K, .221 AVG) for Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League.

Paredes, 26, pitched in the Seattle Mariners organization for seven seasons from 2005-11 and also recently completed a 24-game stint for Estrellas in the Dominican where he was 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA (14.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 8 BB, 10 K, .186 AVG) and limited left-handed hitters to a .174 (4-23) average.  He did not pitch for an organization in 2012.

Kazmir is more for Major League pitching depth for the starting rotation and possibly the bullpen, and barring a miraculous showing in spring training will probably open the season in a yet to be defined role at Triple-A Columbus. Gil and Paredes are minor league depth for the Triple-A and Double-A rosters, and will need to have good camps to be assigned to an affiliate at the conclusion of spring training.

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.

User Comments

January 10, 2013 - 8:27 PM EST
Hey Tony. I do keep up, just don't interject that much, but your site is essential for any Tribe fan.

In the past, I could understand the complaints about these signings since they were just about the only signings the Tribe would make. They'd scrape the barrel and pray for a miracle.

Yet this offseason they were very active. The cynic can complain that the payroll has not changed much year to year, but the reality is that the Indians could have shelled out a lot less money and pocketed a lot more with several expiring contracts.

Instead, we have an Indians squad with a lot less dead weight on the payroll. I think the Tribe had a better offseason than anyone that thinks rationally could dream of. Sure, we can all hope that they can shell out $100M or more every year, but that's not living in the realm of reality.

I would LOVE for the Tribe brass to okay a value free agent signing before the offseason is over because we'll likely see some good deals on guys that have yet to sign due to draft pick compensation. But I'm not holding my breath.

All that said, Kazmir is low risk, high reward. But he's not the only guy we're counting on. Myers is a solid signing. We know that Masterson and Jiminez can be much better than they were last year. We should be able to depend on the bullpen once more. We should have a much more balanced lineup with more scoring. And there's the potential that Bauer could step up right from the start.

I don't expect a division title, but I also don't think its out of the realm of possibility. This team has a different attitude and has done something. I hope that the people of Cleveland reward them by SHOWING UP. Unless something changes, it shouldn't be too cold up there come February. Support the Tribe and hopefully they will continue to spend some more money going forward.

Common Cents
January 8, 2013 - 10:22 PM EST
Kaz probably went down to Mexico or wherever to get some shots of HGH. Dude has nothing to lose he's been so terrible...why not? I wish some more of these terrible Indians players would juice up a little. I support Kazmir's drug use.
January 8, 2013 - 9:18 PM EST
Agree with MacPhisto (hey, long time no time Mac!). No risk at all with the Kazmir signing. If he is not healthy then you cut him loose without any loss, but if he is healthy and performing, he helps the team more than most any prospect in the system. The Indians are not doing anything out of the ordinary as every team brings in 10 or so guys on minor league deals every year to spring training as depth and lottery tickets to see if they rebound from injuries etc.
January 8, 2013 - 6:35 PM EST
Live in Tampa and have seen plenty of Kazmir. He still has all the tools, there's just something blocking him in his mind. He may not work out, but he still has ace type stuff if he can get his mojo back. Big problem was he nibbled too much. I think he lost confidence in his stuff. If he can get some confidence back, he'll be a steal. If not, no risk. Kaz is a smart signing.
January 8, 2013 - 6:12 PM EST
Why does the Tribe keep signing proven bums winter after winter? Shapiro was excellent at finding useless retreads, and now Antonetti is wasting time on similar "has-beens". Why not concentrate on your own young guys, and look for the next Cody Allen.
January 8, 2013 - 3:54 PM EST
Kazmir could be another Steve Karsay / Carl Pavano....there have been a few guys pitch their way back into the big leagues and become effective ML once again. Obviously, it's not unheard of and the Tribe has had a few (Karsay / Pavano) that missed a cpl yrs and pitched their way back on to the scene. Kazmir is a nice signing.
January 8, 2013 - 3:38 PM EST
Kazmir has the feel of signing Karsay a few years back....they both had missed years...

...but the upside is still there for Kaz...just like it was for Karsay...
January 8, 2013 - 3:34 PM EST
someone got up on the wrong side of the bed. If kazmir was damaged goods with the angels it may in fact be the biggest upside deal in a decade, maybe since they signed casey blake.
Kazmir led the league in strikeouts in 2007 and is left handed if he is anywhere's near the pitcher he was in the middle of the decade the tribe fans are in for a treat. Keep in mind the year he won the strikeout crown justin verlander was in his second year with the tigers so he beat some good people in verlander and the guy in minnesota as well. and if the recent kazmir numbers are indicative of what we got we have a zero investment in him so it is a win win win situation no way can we lose. if he become the back end of the rotation and has strengthened his arm back wow that turns out to be a good rotation a whole lot better than we even dreamed of and buys some time for some of the younger pitchers we have with options left. Add a healthy carlos carrasco and scott kazmir at number 4 and 5 in the rotation. You have a whole lot more than anyone dreamed of. And Scott Kazmir is 29!!!!!!!
January 8, 2013 - 3:13 PM EST
Good quetion Steve. The Kazmir deal is a low-risk, high-reward signing. They aren't dependent on him, and he didn't preclude them from being involved in signing anyone else. They got a tier 2 guy in Myers because it's clear that the guys ahead of him want too much money, or too many years, so they struck while the iron was hot, and have some cash left over should someone fall to them.

Kazmir is a minor league deal ON TOP OF all the other guys...and if it works out, IT'S A STEAL. If it doesn't, what does he cost the Indians? It's not like anyone said, "Well, we have Kazmir, no need to get Lohse."
January 8, 2013 - 3:10 PM EST
Okay, why is it that the Kazmir signing seems to be the most polarizing minor league signing in Indians history??? I think it's a good signing.
January 8, 2013 - 2:28 PM EST
Not sure what the problem is with signing Kazmir. He is signed to a minor league deal, which means his contract is not guaranteed and the Indians can cut him without losing any money if he is not up to standard. It is simply a lottery ticket.
Real Pissed
January 8, 2013 - 2:22 PM EST
WTF? Scott Kazmir? This organization is a total joke if they think this is a good signing. OMG I'm so pissed at Chris Antonetti right now. He better never throw a single pitch for the Indians otherwise it's an instant loss. Dude sucks

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