Indians sign Colabello to Minor League deal

Indians sign Colabello to Minor League deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are offering Chris Colabello a second chance, and gaining some experienced depth in the process.

On Tuesday, Cleveland announced that it has signed Colabello to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the big league club in Goodyear, Ariz. The first baseman is the Tribe's fifth non-roster invitee, joining catchers Erik Kratz and Guillermo Quiroz, infielder Michael Martinez and outfielder Daniel Robertson.

The Tribe's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Feb. 12, with the position players slated to follow on Feb. 16.

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Colabello, 33, appeared in only 10 games last season before being suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Colabello's suspension came down in April after he tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, which is an anabolic steroid. Once Colabello was eligible to play again, he remained in the Minor Leagues for 45 games.

Colabello was signed by the Twins in 2012 after he spent seven seasons playing Independent ball with the Worcester Tornadoes in the Canadian-American Association. He reached the Majors by '13 and then enjoyed a standout showing with the Blue Jays in '15. During that season, Colabello hit .321 with 15 home runs, 35 extra-base hits and 54 RBIs in 101 games for Toronto. He posted a .935 OPS against left-handed pitching.

The Indians remain in the market for right-handed power for the first-base and designated-hitter roles, and have maintained an interest in re-signing Mike Napoli on a short-term contract. Cleveland has also been linked to free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion in reports, along with second-tier options like Chris Carter and Adam Lind.

Depending on what happens with Cleveland's search for help, Colabello could compete for at-bats at first or DH, or contend for a place on the Tribe's bench with a strong Spring Training showing. Carlos Santana split the first-base and DH duties with Napoli last season, and that duo combined for 68 home runs and 188 RBIs. Right now, there is not a clear backup to Santana. Jesus Aguilar (out of Minor League options) is the only other first baseman on the 40-man roster.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.