Tribe signs Redmond to be backup backstop
The Indians have signed 38-year-old Mike Redmond to a one-year contract to be their backup catcher. It is their first Major League free agent signing this offseason, and it brings their 40-man roster total to 39.
Redmond is a veteran of 12 Major League seasons with the Marlins and Twins. He debuted with the Marlins in 1998 and has compiled a career average of .289 with 113 doubles, 13 homers and 238 RBIs in 741 games. He was a member of the Marlins’ 2003 World Series championship club, and he was a part of the Twins’ 2006 and ’09 AL Central Division crowns.
The Tribe is well-acquainted with Redmond, as he spent the last five years with the Twins, serving as a backup to Joe Mauer and hitting a combined .297 in 257 games with them. Last year, he batted .237 (32-for-135) in 45 games.
Redmond will serve as the backup to Lou Marson, and he adds some needed experience to a young ballclub.
And Redmond should also help liven up the clubhouse in what figures to be an uphill battle this season. This is, after all, the same guy who takes batting practice in the buff when he’s trying to get out of hitting slumps.
UPDATE: Redmond gets an $850,000 guarantee and $10,000 each for 40, 45, 50, 60 and 70 games started.
UPDATE No. 2: The official company line for the Tribe is that Marson and Wyatt Toregas will compete for the regular catching spot, with Redmond serving as the backup. I think it’s safe to say Marson is the odds-on favorite for the job. Carlos Santana, as we’ve said before, starts the season in Triple-A.