01/13/12 10:00 AM EST
Former player Everett joins Tribe's front office
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
On Friday, the Indians announced that Everett has joined the front office as a special assistant to baseball operations. The former big leaguer will be in uniform during Spring Training, providing infield instruction and filling other roles at both the Major and Minor League levels.
During the regular season, Everett will continue to work with infielders throughout the Indians' player development system.
Everett, who has known Indians manager Manny Acta since their days in the Astros' organization a decade ago, played 34 games for the Tribe during the 2011 campaign. He made the team as a bench player out of Spring Training, but he was released on June 30 to allow for the promotion of rookie third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.
Everett considered retiring prior to last season, but he decided instead to sign a Minor League contract with Cleveland to see if he could crack the Opening Day roster. In his abbreviated stay with the Tribe, the 34-year-old hit .217, but he provided the type of solid defense that had been the signature of his playing career.
In 11 season in the Majors -- spent mostly as a shortstop between stints with the Astros, Twins, Tigers and Indians -- Everett compiled a .976 fielding percentage in 880 games (3,621 chances). He earned votes for a Gold Glove Award each season from 2003-06 while playing for Houston.
Everett was originally a fourth-round selection by the Cubs in the 1995 First-Year Player Draft, but he chose to play for North Carolina State University rather than signing. In '98, the Red Sox selected Everett with the 12th overall pick. He went on to hit .242 over the course of his big league career.
Indians sign three players to Minors deals
CLEVELAND -- The Indians added some organizational depth on Friday, signing a trio of players to Minor League contracts.
Cleveland inked infielders Chin-Lung Hu and Argenis Reyes and right-hander Willy Lebron to Minors deals that do not include invitations to attend Spring Training with the Major League team. All three players will report to Minor League camp this spring.
The 27-year-old Hu has spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues between stints with the Dodgers and Mets. Last year, Hu went just 1-for-20 with New York before being sent outright to Triple-A Buffalo. Hu, who has experience at shortstop and second base, has a .296 career average in the Minor Leagues, but he hit just .161 across three levels in 2011.
Reyes, 29, began the 2011 season with the New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian-American Association before signing with Triple-A Columbus in early August. Reyes is a second baseman by trade, but he has experience at six positions. He hit .306 in 60 games with New Jersey and followed that showing by hitting .313 in 25 games for Columbus. Reyes has played professionally for nine seasons and appeared in big league games with the Mets in 2008-09.
The 31-year-old Lebron spent the 2011 season within the Royals' system, appearing in 32 games between tours with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. Lebron went a combined 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA over 65 2/3 innings, in which he struck out 72 and walked 31. Lebron did not play professionally from 2007-10, but he has previous experience in the organizations of the Rangers, Reds and Cubs.
Tribe extends six non-roster spring invites
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have extended non-roster Spring Training invitations to six players from within the organization's farm system.
Right-hander Chen-Chang Lee, who earned the 2011 Bob Feller Award as Cleveland's Minor League Pitcher of the Year, will be among the non-roster players in camp with the Tribe this spring.
Lee went 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 44 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus last season. Over 71 1/3 innings, Lee struck out 99 and limited righties to a .197 average.
Joining Lee from the Indians' system will be right-handers Austin Adams, Tyler Sturdevant and Hector Ambriz, catcher Chun Chen and outfielder Chad Huffman. As things currently stand, Cleveland will have 15 players in camp as non-roster invitees.
Other invitees include pitchers Chris Ray, Robinson Tejeda and Chris Seddon, catchers Luke Carlin, Michel Hernandez and Matt Pagnozzi, infielders Andy LaRoche and Jose Lopez and outfielder Felix Pie.