Chulk in the mix for final bullpen spot

Chulk in the mix for final bullpen spot

CLEVELAND -- As first reported by MLB.com on Jan. 15, the Indians have signed right-handed reliever Vinnie Chulk to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training camp.

The signing was officially announced by the club Tuesday.

The Indians have now extended 19 invitations to players not on their 40-man roster.

Chulk, 30, has a career record of 7-14 with a 4.36 ERA in 244 appearances with the Blue Jays and Giants over the last six seasons. In 2008, Chulk went 0-3 with a 4.83 ERA in 27 appearances before he was designated for assignment midseason. He became a free agent at season's end.

Chulk could compete for a spot in the bullpen, but he'll have plenty of competition. Six spots are guaranteed to right-handers Kerry Wood, Jensen Lewis, Rafael Betancourt Joe Smith and Masa Kobayashi and left-hander Rafael Perez. Adam Miller, John Meloan, Ed Mujica and left-hander Rich Rundles are among the candidates on the 40-man for that seventh spot. Miller is considered the favorite, if he's healthy.

If nothing else, Chulk is a veteran addition at Triple-A Columbus who could potentially right himself and enter the Indians' big league picture. Chulk can request his release if he's not with the Major League club by May 15.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.