October 23, 2014

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Indians: LaPorta outrighted, as Tribe makes moves

CLEVELAND – The Indians added four players to their 40-man roster Tuesday, purchasing the contracts of Triple-A Columbus’ Tim Fedroff (outfielder) and Taiwanese right-hander Chen-Chang Lee, and Double-A Akron’s RHP Trey Haley and LHP T.J. House.

To make room for three of the roster spots, Cleveland outrighted infielder/outfielder Matt LaPorta and infielder Brent Lillibridge to Columbus, while designating RHP Fabio Martinez for assignment.

LaPorta, a former first-round draft pick of Milwaukee’s and largely a bust since arriving in a well-documented trade for CC Sabathia in 2008, can’t refuse the Triple-A assignment, but Lillibridge can elect free agency.

LaPorta, 27, hit .264 with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs in 101 games for the Clippers last year, failing to produce in a brief stint on the big league level (.241, 1 HR, 5 RBIs in 22 games). Lillibridge, 29, spent the entire season in the majors last year and was traded twice, landing in Cleveland where he hit .216 with three homers and eight RBIs in 43 games.

Fedroff, 25, batted a combined .316 with 12 homers and 54 RBIs in 123 games with Columbus and Akron last season. Lee, 26, was limited to five appearances for the Clippers last season before undergoing reconstructive surgery on his right elbow.

Haley, 22, split last season between Advanced Class A Carolina and Akron, going a combined 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA in 25 relief appearances. House, 23, was also at Carolina and Akron, posting a combined 10-5 record and 3.56 ERA in 27 starts.

The roster moves were made largely to protect the four players from being chosen in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place Dec. 6 during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.