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Indians sign Reynolds, demote Canzler

February 19. 2013 10:45PM
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CLEVELAND — The Indians officially signed free agent first baseman Mark Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million deal on Tuesday, the same day they entertained outfielder Nick Swisher.

Reynolds spent the past two seasons with Baltimore, batting .221 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games last season.

Reynolds passed a physical last week but his signing couldn't be announced until the Indians made a 40-man roster move. The club designated infielder Russ Canzler, a Hazleton Area graduate, for assignment.

The 26-year-old Canzler, acquired from Tampa Bay for cash in January, hit .269 with three home runs, three doubles and 11 RBIs in 26 games for Cleveland in September.

At Triple-A Columbus, the first baseman and left fielder was an International League All-Star for a second consecutive season, hitting .265 with 22 homers, 36 doubles and 79 RBIs in 130 games this year.

Cleveland now has 10 days to either trade or release Canzler, or assign the 2011 IL MVP to a minor league affiliate if he clears waivers.

It was a really difficult decision, general manager Chris Antonetti said to We were in a roster crunch. We were at 40 and we had to clear a spot. We examined a lot of different ways to clear that spot, but in the end we felt that Russ was the guy we needed to designate.

Some of it is a reflection of need, and the fact that we signed Mark Reynolds, who probably was going to take some of the at-bats that Russ had a chance to get. That's maybe in the end what tipped the scales that way, but it was a tough decision.

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