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Cleveland Indians sign C Kelly Shoppach to minor-league contract

This sets the stage for Shoppach to be the third catcher on the roster once the rosters expand.

Kelly Shoppach
Kelly Shoppach

For those with short memories, Shoppach played with the Indians from 2006-2009. He originally came to the Indians in the Coco Crisp-Andy Marte trade in 206, and was dealt to the Rays in 2010 for the now unremembered Mitch Talbot.

Shoppach started the 2013 season with Seattle, then signed on with the Pittsburgh organization. After the Pirates acquired John Buck,he was given his release as there then would be no chance of him getting called up to Pittsburgh in September.

The Indians needed to call up a third catcher in September mainly so they could start Carlos Santana at DH without having to worry about losing the DH if Yan Gomes had to leave the game. As of yesterday, their options were Omir Santos or Roberto Perez, neither of which are really palatable options. Perez has an excellent defensive rep and could eventually turn into a quality major-league backup, but he's not ready (hitting .181/.275/.247 in Columbus). Santos would be an acceptable option, especially if you figure that the Indians would just designated him for assignment after the season. But with Shoppach available, why not grab him? Kelly can still hit for power can still throw runners out a good clip (37% with the Mariners).

Shoppach will head to Columbus for the next couple of days, then will probably join the Indians on September 1st. The AAA season doesn't end until the 2nd, but the Clippers already have two catchers on their roster.