Indians agree with relievers Narveson, Russell

Indians agree with relievers Narveson, Russell

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians continue to add bullpen depth as camp opens for pitchers and catchers.

On Wednesday, the Indians signed left-hander James Russell to a Minor League contract that includes a non-roster invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. One day earlier, Cleveland signed lefty Chris Narveson to the same kind of contract.

With Narveson and Russell added to the fold, the Indians have 20 non-roster invitees, bringing their camp total to 60 players.

Russell fans Reed

The Tribe's pitchers and catchers had their first official workout on Tuesday morning, and the team has a host of left-handed bullpen candidates in the mix for jobs. Relief ace Andrew Miller and veteran southpaw Boone Logan are locks for roles in the Opening Day relief corps, but there is a growing list of others in the running for the final spot or two in the bullpen.

As things stand, Narveson and Russell join a list of lefties that also includes Tim Cooney, Kyle Crockett, Ryan Merritt, Hoby Milner (Rule 5 Draft pick), Shawn Morimando and Tyler Olson (non-roster). Merritt and Morimando are starting pitchers by trade and are likely headed to Triple-A Columbus.

The 35-year-old Narveson appeared in six games last year with Miami and logged 20 games (15 starts) with Triple-A New Orleans, where he posted a 3.41 ERA in his stint. Narveson has spent parts of eight season in the Majors with the Cardinals, Brewers and Marlins, turning in a 4.71 ERA in 118 games (65 starts) in that span. For his career, the southpaw has held lefty batters to a .220 average (.643 OPS) in the big leagues.

Russell, 31, spent the bulk of last season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he posted a 4.29 ERA in 29 appearances (13 starts). In parts of seven seasons in the Majors, the left-hander has turned in a 4.09 ERA in 394 games between stints with the Cubs, Braves and Phillies. He has held lefty batters to a .248 (.700 OPS) showing in that time. Russell appeared in seven games with Philadelphia last year and has a 6.81 ERA over the past two seasons (56 games) combined.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com 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.