September 2, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
74°F
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Indians: Tribe signs 2 to minor league deals

The Indians signed a pair of players to minor league contracts with invitations to big league spring training camp Monday, agreeing to terms with outfielder Ben Francisco and infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn.

Both have experience in the majors, with Francisco beginning his career in Cleveland (2007) and Raburn spending the past six seasons with the Tigers.

Francisco, 31, is a fifth-round draft pick of Cleveland’s in 2002, making his major league debut with the Indians in 2007. He hit .266 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in 121 games for Cleveland in 2008 before being traded to Philadelphia in 2009.

Francisco, a career .257 hitter over six big leagues seasons, left the Phillies at the end of 2011, batting .240 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 82 games for three teams (Blue Jays, Astros and Rays) last year.

Raburn, 30, a career .256 hitter over seven seasons in the majors, saw regular time with the Tigers in 2010-11 but was relegated to a bench role for the American League champions last year. He hit just .171 with a homer and 12 RBIs in 66 games.

– Chris Assenheimer