The Indians announced Friday that they’ve signed veteran catcher Ryan Lavarnway to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus.
Lavarnway, 32, appeared in five games with the Reds this summer amid a series of injuries to Cincinnati’s catching corps, hitting .278/.316/.722 with a pair of homers in 19 plate appearances. He’s a lifetime .211/.270/.343 hitter at the MLB level and a .271/.363/.426 hitter in parts of nine seasons of Triple-A ball.
The Indians have both Roberto Perez and Kevin Plawecki as catching options on the big league roster, but Lavarnway will become a candidate to get a look once rosters expand on Sunday. He’ll provide some direct competition to Columbus catcher Eric Haase, who previously appeared a good bet to join the Indians as a September call-up.