Indians Trade Refsnyder to Rays, Add Three to Farm System
Bob Toth | On 27, Mar 2018
Tuesday proved to be a busy day for the Cleveland Indians on the final day of spring training as the team traded away one camp roster candidate and added three players to the depth at Triple-A Columbus in three other moves.
Rob Refsnyder, previously claimed off of waivers by the Indians from the Toronto Blue Jays in November, was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations. The 27-year-old utility man, who had played parts of the last three years with the New York Yankees before being traded to Toronto in July, was one of the players being considered for the final spot on the Indians’ roster breaking camp. That bench role instead went to outfielder Brandon Guyer, who had spent much of the spring slowed while recovering from offseason wrist surgery and was thought to be a candidate for a disabled list trip to start the year.
Refsnyder hit .191 with a .298 on-base percentage in the spring for the Indians with two doubles, two homers, and seven RBI in 26 games.
In addition to the Refsnyder trade, the Indians also announced the acquisition of three players, including one face quite familiar to the organization.
Right-handed pitcher Jordan Milbrath, who had been selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates in December, was returned to the same Cleveland organization that initially drafted him in the 35th round of the 2013 draft.
The 6’6″ 26-year-old reliever spent last season split evenly between High-A Lynchburg and Double-A Akron, posting a combined 5-3 record with a 3.02 ERA in 30 appearances. He will start the season in Triple-A Columbus.
The Indians also added another pitcher from the Pirates on Tuesday in a separate move, as left-hander Jack Leathersich was claimed off of waivers. The 27-year-old joins the Indians’ 40-man roster and has been optioned to Columbus.
A former fifth round selection by the Mets in 2011, Leathersich debuted in 17 games in relief for New York in 2015. He was claimed off of waivers by the Cubs that November, but he spent 2016 in the minors and worked in just one game for Chicago last year before he was picked up on waivers by Pittsburgh. He logged six games of action for the Pirates over the final month of the season.
He appeared in five Grapefruit League games this spring, allowing six runs on five hits with six walks and four strikeouts in four and two-thirds innings of work.
The Indians also announced the signing of veteran utility man Adam Rosales to a minor league contract. He will also report to Columbus.
Rosales, 34, was in camp with the Philadelphia Phillies this spring but did not make the club. He hit .237 with a .286 OBP, adding two doubles, a triple, a homer, and two RBI over 21 games.
He spent his tenth big league season last year split between the Oakland A’s and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations, putting up a .225/.260/.353 line at the plate with 16 doubles, seven homers, and 36 RBI. Last year marked his third stint in the A’s organization; he has also played in the Majors with Cincinnati, Texas, and San Diego.
The moves did not address the roster status of outfielder Rajai Davis, who will also need to be added to the 25- and 40-man rosters at some point this week.
Photo: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images