9:57am: There’s an opt-out in the deal, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter). Colabello can exercise it on June 1 if he has not been added to the MLB roster, Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds on Twitter.
9:38am: The Indians have announced the signing of outfielder/first baseman Chris Colabello to a minor-league deal. It comes with an invitation to participate on the majors side of spring camp.
Colabello, 33, recently elected free agency after being outrighted by the Blue Jays in a move that long seemed all but inevitable. He struggled out of the gates in 2016 before being slapped with an 80-game suspension for failing a PED test during the offseason. Colabello’s miserable year continued when he returned to action at Triple-A, where he hit just .180/.248/.288 over 153 plate appearances.
Despite those issues, Cleveland seems to offer a fairly promising landing spot. The organization has been on the hunt for pop, and could conceivably utilize Colabello in the corner outfield, at first, or in a bench bat/DH role — if he can earn a roster spot at some point.
The upside here lies in Colabello’s 2015 campaign in Toronto. Over 360 plate appearances, he hit a robust .321/.367/.520 with 19 home runs. Though he had never put up that kind of production in his earlier time with the Twins, perhaps there’s hope that the one-time indy ball find could again be a major-league contributor.