Indians sign southpaw Roth to Minors deal

Indians sign southpaw Roth to Minors deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians tried to add left-hander Michael Roth to their farm system four years ago, but the pitcher chose to stay in college for one more season. Cleveland has finally convinced Roth to sign his name on the dotted line.

On Tuesday, the Indians signed Roth to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. After two unsuccessful stints with the Angels as a reliever in the past two seasons, Roth will head to camp with Cleveland as a starting pitcher.

The Indians selected Roth in the 31st round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, but he did not sign and stayed at the University of South Carolina, which made three straight trips to the College World Series finals from 2010-12. Roth was then taken in the ninth round of the 2012 Draft by the Angels, who granted him free agency after a second outright assignment earlier this offseason.

Last season, Roth went 11-7 with a 2.62 ERA in 22 starts for Double-A Arkansas, posting 79 strikeouts against 53 walks in 140 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old was named to the Texas League's midseason and postseason All-Star teams for his work last year. In seven games for the Angels, however, he posted an 8.76 ERA.

Overall, Roth has turned in a 7.79 ERA in 22 big league appearances (one start) between the 2013-14 seasons with Los Angeles. In parts of three Minor League seasons in the Angels' system, he went a combined 17-12 with a 3.35 ERA in 50 games (46 starts), striking out 151 and walking 100 in 242 innings.

With the addition of Roth, Cleveland currently has 12 non-roster invitees. The others on that list include pitchers Scott Downs, Jeff Manship, Shaun Marcum, Nick Maronde, Dustin Molleken and Bryan Price; catchers Brett Hayes and Adam Moore; outfielders Destin Hood and Jerry Sands; and infielder Audy Ciriaco.

Right-hander Tyler Cloyd, who was previously among Cleveland's non-roster invites, was granted his release on Tuesday in order to pursue an opportunity in Korea. The 27-year-old Cloyd went 10-8 with a 3.89 ERA in 27 games for Triple-A Columbus last season.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.