In a minor move on June 7, the Cleveland Indians traded minor league catcher Tim Federowicz to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later.
Federowicz had appeared in 26 games for the Indians’ top farm affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, hitting .278 with a .353 on-base percentage, six doubles, two homers, and 13 RBI.
A veteran of eight big league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Cincinnati Reds, the 31-year-old Federowicz signed with Cleveland on February 14 and reported to spring training in Goodyear, Arizona, on a non-roster invitation. Brought in as an experienced backup option in the event of spring injury to starter Roberto Perez, new face Kevin Plawecki, or 40-man prospect Eric Haase, Federowicz had a good camp with the Tribe, hitting .313 in 16 at bats with a double, a homer, and a pair of RBI in limited work. With no needs on the active roster, Federowicz was willing to stick with the organization and reported to Columbus to wait for an opportunity. He teamed with Haase with the Clippers, but with 35-year-old Dioner Navarro’s return from a second stint on the 7-day disabled list on June 7, it created a lack of playing time behind the plate in Columbus.
The Rangers came calling for a catcher due to their own injury issues as Isiah Kiner-Falefa landed on the 10-day injured list on June 7 with a right middle finger ligament sprain. The team needed a partner for 36-year-old Jeff Mathis, who had caught just over half of the Rangers’ games this season while providing next to no offense at the plate in his 15th season in the Majors. Instead of looking at Jett Bandy and Adam Moore at Triple-A Nashville (neither of whom are on the team’s 40-man roster), the Rangers brought on the more established veteran in Federowicz in the trade with the Indians and transferred left-handed pitcher Taylor Hearn to the 60-day injured list.
Federowicz may get a chance to see his former Indians club on June 17 when Cleveland reports to Texas for a four-game series at Globe Life Park.
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