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12/09/2005 12:02 PM ET
Indians ink INF Lou Merloni to Minor League deal
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CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians today announced the signing of INF LOU MERLONI to a minor league contract for the 2006 season. The deal includes a non-roster invite to Major League spring training camp in February.

Merloni, 34, was limited to just 5 games and 5 at bats (0-5) in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. After opening the season on the big league roster, Merloni tore ligaments in his right ankle on May 1 at Minnesota and did not appear in a Major League game the rest of the season. Lou completed a 12-game rehab assignment in August and September, but was not added back onto the roster by the Angels.

Lou spent the 2004 season with the Indians, hitting .289 (55-190) with 12 2B, 4HR & 28 RBI in 71 games. During the 2004 season he made 38 starts at first base for Eric Wedge and hit .327 off LHP during his tenure with the Tribe. Merloni owns a career Major League batting average of .272 (290-1066) with 66 2B, 14HR & 124RBI in 414 games after beginning his pro career with the Boston Red Sox in 1993 out of Providence College.

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