Tribe adds depth behind plate by bringing back Carlin

Veteran was with Angels after previously spending three seasons in Cleveland system

Tribe adds depth behind plate by bringing back Carlin

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have turned to a familiar face to improve the team's depth behind the plate.

Cleveland signed free-agent catcher Luke Carlin on Friday to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the Tribe. Carlin returns to the Indians after spending last season with Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels' farm system.

The 33-year-old Carlin gives Cleveland 21 non-roster invitees.

Heading into camp, the Indians only have two catchers -- Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana -- on their 40-man roster. Gomes is in line to be the starting catcher this season and Santana is currently slotted in as the second catcher, though he will also test his hand at third base this spring.

If the Indians decide that Santana can be more than a part-timer at third, the team will need to address the backup catching situation. Veteran backup Matt Treanor is also in the fold as a non-roster invitee, along with Carlin.

In addition, catching prospects Jake Lowery, Roberto Perez and Tony Wolters will be in camp on non-roster invites.

Carlin has appeared in 56 games in the Major Leagues in parts of four seasons with the Padres, D-backs and Indians, hitting .179 in 140 at-bats. He has played 12 professional seasons, including three in the Cleveland organization. He split time between the Indians (.286 average in 10 games) and Triple-A Columbus from 2010-12.

Carlin hit .230 with four homers, eight doubles and 29 RBIs in 77 games for Salt Lake last season.

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.