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Tribe Signs Graffanino to Minor League Deal
- Updated: February 17, 2009
With a busy, yet slow off season still yet to end, even though pitchers and catchers have already reported to spring training, the Indians decided that they didn’t have enough veteran talent with minor league contracts and major league invites to spring training, so they signed Tony Graffanino to one.
Graffanino was originally drafted in the 10th round of the 1990 draft by the Atlanta Braves and has played at least parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues. He did not appear in a big league game during the 2008 season, but the Indians still felt he was worth taking a look at.
The right hander has played almost every position in the books, but has mainly been used as a middle infielder during his career. His best season came in 2005 when he played with both the Kansas City Royals and the Boston Red Sox in 110 games to compile a .319 average. In addition to the teams listed above, Graffanino has also played for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers during his career.
His overall statistics currently stand with 743 hits, 441 runs, 144 doubles, 21 triples, 58 homeruns, 302 RBI and 53 stolen bases with a lifetime average of .267 in 974 games.
The most Graffanino has ever made in a single season is $3.25 million.
It does not seem like the Indians are major players with any of the big name free agents left out on the market. They may make a few more signings such as this one, just to see if any veterans have been able to dust off their bats for one more quality year in the majors.
The main focus remains on the bullpen, and while many place the Indians in the top three of the most improved teams in the American League, they still have some work to do if they want to put their dismal 2008 performance behind them.
Bill Jordan is a contributor to BaseballReflections.com. He can be reached by e-mail at BillJordaniv@yahoo.com.