Luke Carlin Added for Depth
The Cleveland Indians will now have at least 21 non-roster invitees when spring training opens next month. One day after adding right handed pitcher David Aardsma,the Indians came to an agreement with veteran catcher Luke Carlin
The Indians and Carlin agreed on a minor league deal that will also include an invitation to spring training. If you recall, Carlin previously spent three season within the Indians organization from 2010-2012. Most of that time was spent with Triple-A Columbus, but he did appear in 10 games total with the Indians and hit .286. In 12 seasons spent with the Padres, Diamondbacks, Angels, and Indians, Carlin has put together a .179/.263/.286 slash line in 56 career games played.
With the signing of Luke Carlin, the Indians will have seven catchers in camp. Yan Gomes is penciled in as the number one catcher with Carlos Santana as the primary back-up. The Indians don’t figure to carry a third catcher but they will have their choice between veterans Matt Treanor and Carlin and prospects Tony Wolters, Roberto Perez, and Jake Lowery.
In terms of where this signing fits in the long-term plans of the Indians, this is purely a vertical depth move. Carlin doesn’t figure to make the opening day roster and is most likely competing with Treanor for a spot in Columbus where the winner would serve as an emergency call up. None of the Indians catching prospects are near ready for the big league level so should an injury occur to either Gomes or Santana, they will need a semi-reliable plan B. That’s where both veteran backstops would seem to fit best.
Meanwhile, the watch still continues on whether or not the Indians will make a move to bolster the starting rotation. Will they make a run a Ubaldo Jimenez or one of the other available free agents? Will they make a trade? Anything is possible at this point, so stay tuned.