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Indians Add Pair on Minor League Deals

Indians Add Pair on Minor League Deals

| On 12, Dec 2015

The Cleveland Indians announced on Friday a pair of minor transactions.

Outfielder Robbie Grossman and pitcher Felipe Paulino were each signed by the Tribe to minor league contracts with invites to spring training.

Grossman is a 26-year-old switch-hitting outfielder who was released by the Houston Astros on November 19th as the club cleared roster space in advance of the Rule 5 draft. A former sixth round pick in 2008 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, he came to Houston with two other players in exchange for starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez in 2012.

Grossman was thought at the time to be a big piece of that trade and played well in limited action when he debuted for the Astros in 2013, leading to some long-term contract discussions that never came to fruition. After hitting .268 with a .332 on-base percentage, four homers and 27 RBI in 63 games in his rookie season, he followed with significant playing time in 2014. That season, he hit just .233 with a .337 OBP, six homers, and 37 RBI. He maintained a pace of roughly one strikeout per game over each of those seasons.

Last season, he spent just 24 games with the big league club, hitting .143 with seven hits in 49 at bats. He hit .254 in 93 games for Houston’s Triple-A club, the Fresno Grizzlies.

He is capable of playing all three outfield spots.

The 32-year-old Paulino is a right-hander familiar to Indians fans from his time with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals.

He spent the 2015 season in the minors with the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa affiliate. He was 5-9 there with a 4.93 ERA in 20 starts. He went to spring training with the Boston Red Sox that season, but was cut at the end of camp.

Paulino - MILB.com

MiLB.com

Paulino, like Grossman, spent time in the Houston system. He was signed by the Astros in 2001 as a free agent and would debut for the club in 2007. He spent parts of the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Major League club before he was dealt following the season to the Colorado Rockies.

He got his first extensive look in the Majors as a reliever with the Rockies to start that season, but was then dealt to the Royals, who used him in 20 games as a starter. He was 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in seven games for the club in 2012 and pitched in four games for the White Sox in his last big league action in 2014, posting an 0-2 record with an 11.29 ERA.

Both players add depth at the Triple-A level for the Indians as well as in the pending spring camps, where they will have an opportunity to play for spots on the upcoming 2016 roster.

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports