The Indians have agreed to sign Jon Garland to a minor league contract reports the AP (via ESPN). He will take his physical at the team's complex in Arizona next week. Garland's cousin Andrew Rickli tweeted news of an agreement between the two sides two days ago. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and ESPN's Buster Olney reported that they were nearing a deal this morning (all Twitter links). Garland is an LSW Baseball client.
Garland, 32, made nine starts for the Dodgers to begin the 2011 season before having July surgery to clean out debris in his shoulder. Two weeks after the surgery, he said he told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick and AJ Cassavell that he expected to be ready for spring training...
"I was very satisfied with what the doctor said," said Garland. "He's upbeat. The labrum was almost pristine. The cuff was a little worse than he thought, but a lot of what he found was just scar tissue and bursitis. He shaved down the bone so things move smoothly. A layoff like this can only help the rest of my body."
The Indians added Derek Lowe and Kevin Slowey this offseason, with the latter likely battling for the fifth starter job with David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. Roberto Hernandez Heredia (a.k.a. Fausto Carmona) who was previously penciled in, is an unknown due to false identity charges.
Prior to 2011, Garland had posted nine consecutive seasons of at least 190 regular season innings. He signed a team-friendly one-year, $5MM deal with the Dodgers in November of 2010. At that time it seemed likely to become a two-year, $13MM contract, as an $8MM option for 2012 was to vest with Garland's customary 190 innings. Now it seems the California native may wind up back in the AL Central, after spending the first eight seasons of his career with the White Sox.