Indians sign Stammen to Minor League deal

Right-hander joins competition for spot in bullpen

Indians sign Stammen to Minor League deal

CLEVELAND -- After spending his entire career with the Nationals, reliever Craig Stammen is starting a new chapter with the Tribe.

The Indians finalized a Minor League contract on Monday with Stammen, who also received an invitation to attend Spring Training with the big league club. The veteran right-hander will go into camp with a chance at cracking Cleveland's bullpen, which has a handful of vacancies and a long list of competitors.

The only virtual locks for the Indians' relief corps at the moment appear to be closer Cody Allen, setup man Bryan Shaw and righties Zach McAllister and Jeff Manship. Cleveland acquired righty Dan Otero from the Phillies this winter as well, putting him in the mix with other rostered relievers, including Austin Adams, Shawn Armstrong, Kyle Crockett and Giovanni Soto.

The Indians have also reeled in lefties Ross Detwiler, Tom Gorzelanny and Joe Thatcher, along with right-hander Joba Chamberlain, as non-roster invitees for the team's spring bullpen competition.

Stammen, who will turn 32 in March, was non-tendered by Washington in December following an injury-shortened season. The righty worked in only five games before sustaining a right forearm injury, which required surgery in April to repair two torn flexor tendons.

That ended an 11-year run with the Nats' organization, which selected Stammen -- a native of North Star, Ohio -- in the 12th round of the 2005 Draft. Stammen posted a 3.91 ERA in 229 career appearances in parts of seven seasons with Washington. From 2012-14, the right-hander fashioned a 2.93 ERA with 222 strikeouts in 242 2/3 innings (163 games).

In 2014, Stammen's last full season, he turned in a 3.84 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 14 walks in 72 2/3 innings. He mostly features a sinker and slider, but he mixes in a four-seam fastball and a curveball as well.

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