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Indians sign Martinez, Jeroloman to Minor deals

Indians sign Martinez, Jeroloman to Minor deals

Indians sign Martinez, Jeroloman to Minor deals
CLEVELAND -- The Indians added to their depth chart on Wednesday, signing pitcher Joe Martinez and catcher Brian Jeroloman to Minor League contracts. Both players were extended invitations to attend Spring Training with the big league club.

Given the composition of Cleveland's roster, both Martinez and Jeroloman project as Minor League depth, with both players likely ticketed for Triple-A Columbus. Martinez boasts a limited amount of big league experience and Jeroloman has spent a large portion of his professional career in the upper tier of the Minors.

The 29-year-old Martinez returns for his second stint in the Tribe's system. He also spent the 2011 season with Columbus and earned postseason Most Valuable Players honors during the Clippers' run to the Triple-A championship that season.

Dating back to 2009, Martinez has gone 3-3 with a 6.22 ERA in 19 big league games between brief tours with the Giants (2009-10), Pirates ('11) and D-backs ('12). Last year, the right-hander appeared in one game for Arizona, and also went 10-11 with a 5.39 ERA over 27 starts for Triple-A Reno (Arizona), compiling 99 strikeouts against 49 walks in 155 1/3 innings.

In 2011 with Columbus, Martinez went 8-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 35 appearances, including 16 starts.

Jeroloman, 27, has appeared in 559 games over seven seasons -- all spent within Toronto's Minor League system. The right-handed hitter has hit .240 with a .371 on-base percentage and a .335 slugging percentage over his professional career. Jeroloman is most lauded for his on-base ability and defensive skills behind the plate.

Jeroloman threw out 44 percent (18-of-41) of would-be basestealers in 2012 and was named the collegiate Defensive Player of the Year by Louisville Slugger in 2006, when he was with University of Florida.

Last season, Jeroloman hit just .183 in 43 games across three levels (Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, Class A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire), but he was limited by a right knee injury. In August 2011, the catcher was promoted to the Blue Jays, but he spent his 37 days in the Majors without appearing in a game due to a sprained right wrist.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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