Indians Sign Catcher Taylor to Minor League Contract

The Indians continue to bring in the reinforcements at catcher as for the second time in a week, the front office has added at the position.

Cleveland announced on Friday that the team had come to terms on a minor league deal with a spring training invite with 29-year-old Beau Taylor, who split last season with the Oakland and Toronto organizations.

Taylor became the second backstop brought in by the Indians already this month, following the earlier acquisition on December 2 of Sandy Leon from the Boston Red Sox. Kevin Plawecki, who backed up Gold Glove winner Roberto Perez behind the plate last season, was not tendered a contract prior to the deadline last Monday night.

Taylor has spent the last two springs in camp with the Athletics as a non-roster invitee. He made his big league debut in September of 2018 and returned to the organization on a minor league deal in January. He spent nearly a month with the parent club in June and returned for a few days at the trade deadline before being designated for assignment midway through August. He was claimed on waivers by Toronto and was a September call-up by the Blue Jays before he was designated for assignment a week into the month and claimed back by the A’s, but he was cut loose again by Oakland before the end of the month.

In ten games with Oakland and one with Toronto last season, Taylor posted a .174/.321/.435 slash with a pair of solo home runs accounting for half of his four hits on the season. In work at the Triple-A level for Las Vegas (Oakland) and Buffalo (Toronto), Taylor hit a combined .247 over 72 games with a .391 on-base percentage and .430 slugging mark, adding in 15 doubles, one triple, eight homers, and 32 RBI.

Taylor has been a part of the pro game since 2011, when he was selected in the fifth round of the draft by Oakland out of Central Florida. The left-handed hitting catcher has spent parts of each of the last three seasons at the Triple-A level and joins Perez, Leon, and Eric Haase as catching depth heading to Goodyear in February.

Taylor was the second player signed by the Indians this week. Reliever James Hoyt, who was designated for assignment last Monday, came to terms on a Major League contract with the club on Wednesday, returning him to the 40-man roster. The 33-year-old made eight appearances for the Indians in September, posting a 2.16 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP with ten strikeouts and two walks in eight and one-third innings after making 40 appearances for Triple-A Columbus earlier in the year (2-0, 3.43 ERA, 1.57 WHIP).

Hoyt, who has one minor league option remaining, is expected to earn a salary of $608,500 if in the Majors and $156,000 if in the minors, according to a report by the Associated Press on Friday.

Photo: Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

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