Indians release former first-rounder Crowe

Indians release former first-rounder Crowe

ST. PETERSBURG -- In the midst of a turbulent season within the Indians' system, former first-round pick Trevor Crowe is getting a fresh start.

On Monday, Cleveland announced that it had released Crowe, allowing him to pursue an opportunity with another organization. Shortly after news spread of his release, the outfielder posted a message on his Twitter account: @tcrowe4.

"Could not be more thankful for my [seven] years in the Indians organization," Crowe wrote. "They gave me a great opportunity and always treated me with respect. I will be pulling for them this year. From the front office, to the players, coaches, and especially the fans, they deserve a winner."

The Indians made Crowe the 14th overall selection in the first round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, and gave him his first taste of the big leagues in 2009. Over 205 games with Cleveland from '09-11, the switch-hitting Crowe posted a .245 average with three homers and 55 RBIs.

His best season came in 2010, when Crowe hit .251 with 24 doubles, three triples, two homers, 20 stolen bases, 36 RBIs and 48 runs scored in 122 games. Crowe missed the bulk of the 2011 season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.

This past offseason, the Indians removed Crowe from the 40-man roster and gave him a late invitation to attend Spring Training with the big league club. Shortly before Opening Day, Crowe was rumored to be part of the proposed deal with the Angels that would have brought Bobby Abreu to Cleveland.

Those trade talks fell apart, and Crowe spent 42 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus before his release. In those contests, the outfielder hit .259 with a .343 on-base percentage, three home runs and 13 RBIs.