CLEVELAND -- Matt Carson called it the pinnacle of his career. The journeyman outfielder stood at his locker inside the Indians clubhouse after some unlikely September heroics, surrounded by reporters, smiling in disbelief as he discussed a game-winning hit that was years in the making.
"Man, I've crisscrossed the country quite a few times playing this game," Carson said at the time. "It's been a good journey."
The Indians are giving Carson a chance to continue that journey with Cleveland.
On Friday, the club announced that it signed Carson to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. The Indians also signed infielder David Adams to a big league contract, bringing the 40-man roster to capacity. Right-handers Tyler Cloyd and Travis Banwart also received Minor League deals with spring invites.
Carson played hero on Sept. 19, delivering a walk-off single to defeat the Astros in 11 innings and help the Indians continue their quest for the postseason. The Tribe went on to capture the American League's top Wild Card spot, and the 32-year-old Carson served as a pinch-hitter, defensive replacement and part-time role player during the critical final month.
A veteran of 12 professional seasons, Carson spent 20 games with the Indians in 2013 and hit .636 in 11 at-bats. He offers strong defense at all three outfield positions, providing the Indians with a layer of depth in the farm system. In 121 games with Triple-A Columbus last season, Carson hit .252 with 14 homers, 32 extra-base hits and 49 RBIs, and turned in 19 assists from the outfield.
The 26-year-old Adams, who has a Minor League option, will be in camp as a reserve option with experience at first, second and third base. Primarily a third baseman, Adams hit .193 (.537 OPS) in a 43-game tour with the Yankees last season. At Triple-A, the infielder posted a .268/.366/.405 slash line with five homers, 18 extra-base hits and 21 RBIs for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In parts of six Minor League seasons, Adams has hit .291 with an .817 OPS.
Cloyd was initially claimed off waivers from the Phillies on Oct. 2, but the Indians designated the pitcher for assignment on Nov. 25 to clear a spot on the roster for outfielder David Murphy. Cloyd was subsequently non-tendered on Dec. 2. The righty has posted a 5.98 ERA in 19 big league games for the Phillies over the past two seasons, went 5-9 with a 4.71 ERA in 19 starts at Triple-A last season and has a 3.49 ERA in 154 career games in the Minors.
Banwart, 27, went 53-40 with a 4.21 ERA in 178 games (146 starts) across seven professional seasons with the A's, who selected him in the fourth round of the '07 First-Year Player Draft. The right-hander went 10-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 29 games (23 starts) last season with Triple-A Sacramento, compiling 125 strikeouts against 54 walks in 131 innings.