12 Feb

have speed, will travel

Possibly addressing a need for speed, the Cleveland Indians have reportedly agreed to terms with Billy Hamilton on a minor league contract. The former Taylorsville High star, who has 305 career stolen bases and still plays a mean center field at age 30, spent the 2020 season bouncing from San Francisco to the New York Mets to the Chicago Cubs, getting just 32 at-bats and batting .125. He is a career .241 hitter over eight MLB campaigns and is primarily a role player now. Originally drafted by Cincinnati, Hamilton has been with six different clubs the past three seasons. He’ll likely need a strong spring to make the Indians’ roster. The expected starter in center is Oscar Mercado, who struggled in 2020 after a good rookie season in 2019. The team also has Bradley Zimmer and six other outfielders on its 40-man roster, plus Ben Gamel, also signed to a minor league deal. P.S. Former Mississippi State standout Jacob Lindgren is among the Chicago White Sox’s non-roster invitees to spring camp. The injury-plagued left-hander last pitched in the majors in 2015. … State product Ben Bracewell, who has pitched in Triple-A for several years, is on Oakland’s NRI list; former Bulldogs catcher Jack Kruger is going to camp (again) with the Los Angeles Angels; and lefty Ethan Small, Milwaukee’s first-round pick out of State in 2019, will be in Brewers camp.

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