CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed free agent RHP TRAVIS BANWART, OF MATT CARSON and RHP TYLER CLOYD to Minor League contracts with non-roster invitation to Major League spring training camp.
Banwart, 27, has spent his entire professional career in the Oakland Athletics organization after being selected by Oakland in the 4th round of the 2007 draft out of Wichita State University. He spent the last four seasons with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, going 10-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 29 games/23 starts (131.0IP, 145H, 67ER, 54BB, 125K) and was 6-0 w/a 4.03 ERA (60.1IP, 64H, 27ER, 59K) over his final 11 starts of the season. In 2012 the hard-throwing right-hander posted the 8th-lowest ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League (3.85).
Carson, 32, will begin his second season in the Cleveland organization after spending most of 2013 at Triple-A Columbus where he hit .252 (110-436) with 16 2B, 14HR & 49 RBI in 121 games (57RS, 14SB). He contributed to the AL Wildcard chase over the last month of the season with the Indians, going 7-for-11 (.636, 20 games) with a homer, 3RBI and collected a game-winning, "walk-off" 11th inning single on September 19th vs. Houston.
Cloyd, 26, was recently non-tendered along with Carson after being claimed off waivers from Philadelphia on October 2nd. He split the 2013 campaign between AAA Lehigh Valley and the Phillies, going 5-9 with a 4.71 ERA (59 ER/112.2 IP) in 19 Triple-A starts. The 2012 International League Pitcher of the Year split 2012 between AAA Lehigh Valley and AA Reading, going 15-1 with a 2.26 ERA in 26 starts between both minor league teams (also started 6 games for the Phillies).