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01/15/09 10:15 PM EST

Tribe inks Chulk to Minor League deal

CLEVELAND -- Chalk up another Minor League signing for the Indians -- and this time, you can chalk up Chulk.

The Indians have signed right-hander reliever Vinnie Chulk to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training camp. That brings the total number of invitees to 17, and the Indians are still looking at other potential options for Minor League deals.

Chulk, 30, has a career record of 7-14 with a 4.36 ERA in 244 appearances with the Blue Jays and Giants over the last six seasons.

In 2008, Chulk went 0-3 with a 4.83 ERA in 27 appearances with the Giants before he was designated for assignment midseason. He became a free agent at season's end.

It is not clear if the Indians view Chulk as an option for the lone open spot in their bullpen. Six spots are guaranteed to right-handers Kerry Wood, Jensen Lewis, Rafael Betancourt Joe Smith and Masa Kobayashi and left-hander Rafael Perez. John Meloan, Ed Mujica, Adam Miller and left-hander Rich Rundles are among the candidates on the 40-man for that seventh spot.

If nothing else, Chulk is a veteran addition at Triple-A Columbus who could potentially right himself and enter the Indians' big league picture. And when it comes to that picture, Chulk has an out clause in his contract. He can request his release if he's not with the Major League club by May 15.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.