Former Indians reliever Bryan Shaw is returning to the team on a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training, Zack Meisel of The Athletic tweets. The Indians have also added fellow righty reliever Heath Hembree on a minors pact, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Hembree will earn a $1.25MM salary and could also make incentives if he gets back to the majors.
Now 33 years old, Shaw enjoyed his best seasons as an Indian from 2013-17. He was good for 60-plus innings per season then, totaling 358 2/3 in 378 appearances, and logged a 3.11 ERA/3.41 SIERA with a 22.5 percent strikeout rate and an 8.0 percent walk rate. Shaw parlayed that success into a three-year, $27MM guarantee with the Rockies, but his career has gone off the rails since then. He struggled mightily with the Rox and Mariners from 2018-20 and had been on the open market since October.
Hembree did well to prevent runs with the Red Sox from 204-19, but they traded him to the Phillies last August amid what was a rough season for the 32-year-old. He ended the campaign with 19 innings and a horrid 9.00 ERA (albeit with a much better 4.47 SIERA), after which the Phillies let him go.