7:08pm: Morgan can earn over $1MM if he makes the roster and reaches the incentives in his contract, Crasnick reports on Twitter.
6:34pm: Nyjer Morgan has signed a minor league deal with the Indians, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The deal includes a Spring Training invitation, Crasnick notes. Morgan recently became a client of Team One and Millenium Sports.
Morgan played in Japan last year after seeing action in parts of six seasons, putting up a .294/.361/.434 line in 424 plate appearances for the Yokohama Bay Stars. In 2012 with the Brewers, Morgan mustered only a .239/.302/.308 triple-slash in 322 plate appearances. While his last look at the bigs was subpar, however, Morgan did put up OPS marks of over .750 in both 2009 and 2011.
At 33, Morgan's legs may not be quite what they once were. He notched 42 and 34 stolen bases over the 2009 and 2010 seasons, respectively, but barely mustered double-digits in his last two seasons of big league action and had just three for the Bay Stars last year. It remains to be seen, also, whether he can continue to add value as a plus defensive center fielder.
It could be a tall order for Morgan to break camp with the Indians. Michael Bourn is entrenched in center, and the club already has left-handed bats in Michael Brantley and David Murphy at the corners.