In the past, Ryan Raburn has proved to be a relatively useful big league player, especially in a part-time role. The 31-year-old is versatile, having the ability to play all positions aside from catcher and shortstop, and he’s shown some pretty good pop over the course of his career (.174 ISO).
Unfortunately, Raburn was not at useful in 2012 (he was actually worth negative 1.5 WAR according to FanGraphs), and despite coming off three straight respectable seasons as a solid bench player for the Tigers, the organization decided he wasn’t worth the $2.1 million salary assigned to him through arbitration — an understandable choice.
Consequently, the former fifth round draft selection in 2001 hit the open market and now finds himself with a minor league contract and an invitation to come to spring training with the Cleveland Indians. If any team needs help offensively, it’s Cleveland, so Raburn actually has a chance to be a serviceable player as long as they don’t have any plans of overusing him.
That said, it’s a pretty slow news day if the signing of Ryan Raburn is worth reporting at all.