The battle for the Indians’ 5th outfielder job is getting pretty intense.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is reporting that free agent Nyjer Morgan has signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, with the invite to Spring Training. Morgan, 33, is trying to re-establish himself in MLB after spending the 2013 season in Japan playing for the Yokohama DeNa Baystars where he hit .294 with 11 HRs. He last played in the bigs in 2012, limping to a .610 OPS in 112 games with Milwaukee, but that disastrous campaign came on the heels of a .304/.357/.421 2011 with those same Brewers, so the ability to be a productive offensive player is certainly there.
In addition to his wildly inconsistent bat, Morgan may bring his alter-ego “Tony Plush” to the Cleveland bench in 2014.
Tony Plush is a lot of things, depending on who you ask. He’s equal parts loud and goofball. He frequently tweets random pictures, he uses exclamation points like they grow on trees, and he yells for the sake of yelling. In other words, he’s the kind of guy who will annoy you to no end, unless he’s playing for your team.
And in 2014, T-Plush may be playing for our team… or Columbus… or another team… who really knows at this point? For a team that has done well to pick at scraps in recent offseasons (Scott Kazmir, we hardly knew ye), the Indians are doing a good job at throwing things at the wall and hoping something sticks. It could be Morgan, it could be Frenchy, it could even be Manny Ramirez (Note: It will not be Manny Ramirez). All I know is that Spring Training got a modicum more intrigue with this signing, and I’m happy with that.
And I mean, really, can’t you just see Morgan’s “Tony Plush” persona being the kind of goofball thing a Francona team would thrive on? Personally, I think there’s a decent chance we see quite a bit of Nyjer Morgan in Cleveland this season.
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