Indians Sign Bryan LaHair

The Indians have officially signed first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair to a minor league deal that includes a Spring Training invite, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. The 31-year-old will have a chance to earn time as a DH or bench bat, tweets Bastian, and would provide depth at first.

LaHair was released by the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks after spending last year in Japan. For the Hawks, LaHair hit 16 home runs in 389 plate appearances, but slashed just .230/.306/.428.

LaHair's incredible first half in 2012 made him an MLB All-Star that year, but he ended the campaign with a .259/.334/.450 line for the season. He did hit 16 long balls in just 380 plate appearances, however. His prior employers have clearly viewed LaHair as a righty-masher only, as he has just 96 career plate appearances (and a rough .380 OPS) against lefties. LaHair has seen time at both first and the corner outfield over his MLB career.


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32 Comments on "Indians Sign Bryan LaHair"


rovert22044
1 year 6 months ago

Good, low-risk move. Was hoping the Astros would give him a chance, but good for the Indians.

alexamato
1 year 6 months ago

Solid competitor for a bench role. Nice power from the bench

TrollinPowell
1 year 6 months ago

.230/.306/.428 last year in Japan.

Low risk, but little chance of reward.

johnbrooks
1 year 6 months ago

He offers more upside than what Giambi did last year. He hit RHPs well in 2012. He also isn’t just limited to DH’ing like Giambi either.

Koufax Holmes
1 year 6 months ago

But he is kind of limited to DH’ing just like Giambi.

johnbrooks
1 year 6 months ago

While he isn’t the best fielding 1B I grant you, he can pass on occasion to play once in a blue moon for Swisher.

Joe Orsatti
1 year 6 months ago

Talk about a fast collapse. He was tremendous for the cubs early in 2012 but he fell off big time.

Jeffy25
1 year 6 months ago

I’d say it was pretty obvious during his first half of that year that he was overperforming his true self.

That said, he is also better than he was in japan last year.

brian310
1 year 6 months ago

I still remember when the cubs shoulda traded him that year he had a tremendous first half

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

He fizzled out to fast for the Cubs to trade him.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

He didn’t even last long enough to give Joe charbeneau, or Dave Hostetler a run for their money on fleeting fame.

Fernando
1 year 6 months ago

Indians have so many spring training invites who play 1B, which is perplexing because they have a logjam there to begin with, with Swisher and Santana sharing time there… add in competition like David Cooper and a quick rising Jesus Aguilar and I don’t see LaHair having much of a shot of ever seeing the MLB roster, especially with Aviles and Raburn locking down utility roles and Giambi likely as a DH again. Just seems LaHair could have found a better opportunity somewhere. Guess 1B is a tough position to come back from.

Greg David
1 year 6 months ago

Giambi could only handle 180 at bats last season and he only hit 190 , if he can’t do a lot better than that this season he’s just taking up a roster spot. I’m thinking Giambi and Chisenhall are both going to have to really compete for their spots. Aguilar has been playing some third and DH in winter ball. If Santana is capable of playing third more than part time there’s going to be a need for a backup to Swisher and a backup catcher making it even harder for Chisenhall and Giambi to make the roster.

Fernando
1 year 6 months ago

Francona really likes Giambi though. I agree it may not be the best use of a roster space but I’d be pretty surprised to see him not make the team, unless he just becomes a coach instead. As for Santana at 3B, that would be awesome, but I think it’s pretty unlikely. Everything I’ve heard points to the Indians not giving up on Chiz. I think he will be the starter opening day and Santana may be lucky to get in 30-40 games at 3B. Though Chisenhall is still pretty young, I think he can blossom into a great hitter, he just needs more reps.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 6 months ago

Let’s hope everything you said comes true. I think the Tribe needs to give Lonnie a real shot at 3B. As in full-time. And Giambi needs to retire. Thanks for the memories, but it’s time to call it a career. Give a chance to some of our younger talent.
GO TRIBE!!

Greg David
1 year 6 months ago

If Chisenhall can’t figure out how to hit major league pitching and be an adequate defensive third baseman now, before the season starts, he CAN’T be the everyday third baseman and I wouldn’t even keep him as a backup

William Reilly
1 year 6 months ago

This is just a depth signing..Unless LaHair turns in a phenomenal spring, which he is capable of…..Cooper is coming back from major surgery and has upside but he is one of the few that actually received a major league contract rather than a minor league deal with an invite to spring training..so, if healthy he may be looking like the most viable option..Aguilar needs a year in Triple A before its his time to come up, he is a strong candidate to be a September call up if he performs in Columbus seeing as how he is already a part of the 40 man roster….Management has been spewing out article after article about Santana getting time at third base to the point where it will surprise me if they do not make that switch..Chis had his shot two years in a row at third base and did not fit the bill…I do not expect him to escape that trend…therefore Elliot Johnson and David Adams will have a true opportunity to win the 3B position this coming spring….Hopefully Raburn’s resurrection last season was not a fluke and he will still be a productive bench player and Aviles has always been nothing short of reliable throughout his career….Swisher will still see a fair share of games in RF leaving a few games at 1B for Santana and whoever the final roster spot is given to…Lastly, I see Giambi’s spring going a little something like this…Let’s see what kind of pop the man has left and if he is still capable he will definitely receive that final roster spot. However in my opinion there is a strong chance that it does not go well or his body just gives out and with that I believe the Tribe would then attempt to sign him as some sort of extra big league hitting instructor, in order to keep him in the clubhouse. Francona stated last season that Giambi’s presence in the dugout and ability to mentor the younger players was one of the main reasons last season went so well. GO TRIBE!!!!!

bigwags
1 year 6 months ago

Pirates should regret not signing him to a minor league deal to platoon with Gaby Sanchez at 1B.

Fernando
1 year 6 months ago

Wouldn’t have hurt to get some more competition at camp, but isn’t Lambo supposed to be that guy?

monkeyking42
1 year 6 months ago

Lambo’s probably the best option right now, but he’s no sure thing.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

Pittsburgh would have been better off signing carlos pena to a Milb deal before he signed one with the Angels last week. pena brings a solid glove and a past history of power at the MLB level.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

Pittsburgh would have been better off signing carlos pena to a Milb deal before he signed one with the Angels last week. pena brings a solid glove and a past history of power at the MLB level.

First Bleed
1 year 6 months ago

LaPorta 2.0? both have the same skill set.

Cannon Fodder
1 year 6 months ago

Perhaps, but LaPorta differs from LaHair in that the latter actually had a few months of success at the major league level.

Koufax Holmes
1 year 6 months ago

2011, one of the great AAA season performances of his generation.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

it sure is!

hey TSS.. Wanna’ check out a guy who put up some terrific MiLB numbers? check out former Sox and Pirates 1st baseman Dick Stuart.

Koufax Holmes
1 year 6 months ago

Wow. What a Minor League career!

calicub
1 year 6 months ago

Something like 56 HR over the course of the PCL and Venezuela Summer leagues? quite impressive.

calicub
1 year 6 months ago

Something like 56 HR over the course of the PCL and Venezuela Summer leagues? quite impressive.

kidkongs
1 year 6 months ago

Met this guy in Spring Training for the Cubs at the beginning of 2012. Was super nice and signed our ball. Had no idea who he was, but then when we blew up we thought we had struck baseball memorabilia gold. Well, we know how that turned out so far. Maybe he’ll turn it around again.

calicub
1 year 6 months ago

LaHair’s horrible stats vs. Lefties is a bit misleading:

Yes he struggles against LHP but most of his at-bats with the Cubs against lefties came against LOOGY’s and late inning relievers as a pinch hitter. He rarely faced LHP starters and thus never really was able to adjust in game.

He was never given a chance to prove he could adjust to Lefties in game which resulted in his awful splits.

Jeffy25
1 year 6 months ago

Feel like he and cooper are somewhat similar