Indians catcher Chris Gimenez will reject an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus and become a free agent, reports Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (Twitter link). Cleveland outrighted Gimenez off its 40-man roster Friday, but the club is interested in bringing him back on a minor league deal, according to Bastian.
The soon-to-be 34-year-old Gimenez has had three separate major league stints with the Indians (2009-10, 2014, 2016), who selected him in the 19th round of the 2004 draft. He rejoined the Tribe in a May trade with the Rangers and ended up hitting .216/.272/.331 in 155 plate appearances, contributing to a lifetime line of .218/.297/.335 in 776 PAs with four different teams. Defensively, Gimenez earned mixed reviews as a pitch framer in 2016, but he did win the favor of right-hander Trevor Bauer.
If he re-signs with Cleveland, Gimenez will once again provide organizational depth behind fellow backstops Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez. Injuries helped limit Gomes to just 74 games this past season, thus leading to a career high in major league playing time for Gimenez.