Earlier today, the Cleveland Indians signed outfielder Robbie Grossman to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has reported. Grossman is a 26-year-old former Pittsburgh Pirates prospect who was released from the Houston Astros in November. The Indians have not yet confirmed the move, but beat writer Jordan Bastian has backed up the claim on Twitter.
Grossman is the latest in a conga line of cost-effective outfielders with questionable ability at the Major League level the Indians have signed this offseason. This is more of a signing on the level of Shane Robinson, in that it will be more minor league depth than anything and less of someone like Joey Butler or Collin Cowgill, who could legitimate compete for an outfield spot in the spring. A quad injury lingered throughout Grossman’s 2015 season, and he was not very effective in the Majors.
Over the last three seasons (764 PA), Grossman has slashed a career .240/.327/.341 with 11 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Unlike most of these recent outfield acquisitions, Grossman hits better against right-handed pitchers (.310 career wOBA) compared to southpaws (.281 career wOBA) so he may not be much of a platoon option for Lonnie Chisenhall if he somehow finds his onto the Major League roster out of Spring
Grossman will be competing with other non-roster invitees including *deep breath* Joe Colon, Michael Martinez, Adam Moore, Shane Robinson, Anthony Recker, Michael Choice, and Joba Chamberlain.