Ryan Raburn has never been a highly sought after commodity in his career, but the veteran utility man seems to have finally found his place with the Cleveland Indians. After joining the Tribe last January on a minor league contract, Raburn and the team have now reportedly agreed on a two year contract extension with a team option for a third year. The deal is worth $4.85 Million according to a press release by the team. Raburn would have become a free agent following the season.
A career .256/.311/.430 hitter entering the season, Raburn had been released by the Detroit Tigers last November as the team likely wanted to avoid giving him a raise in arbitration from the $2 Million salary he earned in 2012. Raburn joined the Indians and has responded with a solid campaign. He’s hitting .277/.370/.565 in 211 PA on the year, adding 13 HR and 14 2B, while seeing time at both corner outfield positions and a pair of games at second base. He turned 32 earlier this season and his defensive versatility has been invaluable.
Raburn will reportedly earn $2.25 Million in 2014 and $2.5 Million in 2015. The team option for 2016 would be valued at $3 Million, but contains a $100,000 buyout.
Ed Carroll at Wahoo’s on First considers the deal a plus for the Indians, mostly citing Terry Francona’s ability to maximize value from his players by using them in the right situations. Carroll also points to the deal that Mike Aviles signed with Cleveland last winter, noting that the pair of players will cost the team a mere $5.75 Million next season – a highly reasonable sum for a pair of players who can produce off the bench while covering multiple positions.