By: T.J. Zuppe | ESPNCleveland.com
The Cleveland Indians have been getting major contributions from their deep bench in 2013. One of the major reasons has been utility-man Ryan Raburn.
The Tribe rewarded Raburn for his efforts by inking the right-handed hitter to a two-year contract extension with a team option for 2016.
The deal is reportedly worth $4.85 million with a team option worth $3 million and a $100,000 buyout according to Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.
The team made the announcement on Wednesday, at a time in which his former team was in town for a four-game series.
After thriving for much of his career in a part-time role in Detroit, the Tigers attempted to make Raburn an everyday player in 2012 but the results were not good. He hit .171 with one homer in 66 games.
As a result, the Tigers let Raburn go, opening the door for the Tribe to sign him to a minor-league contract on January 21st. Since earning his spot on the 25-man roster prior to the start of the season, Raburn has been everything the Indians could have asked for and more.
In fact, Raburn noted earlier this year that where everything seemed to go wrong for him on the field in 2012, things have gone right this season.
A key contributor off of Terry Francona’s bench, Raburn is hitting .277 on the campaign with 13 home runs and 38 RBI in 184 at bats. His OPS is a career-high .935.
He has three multi-homer games in 2013, the most of any Tribe player since Grady Sizemore had five multi-homer games in 2008.
Raburn has also come through with a handful of clutch hits. He is hitting .462 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
He has posted a wins above replacement of 2.1 and his at-bat/ RBI ratio of 4.84 ranks only behind Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis and Edwin Encarnacion among qualifying players in the American League.
The contract seems to work well for all parties involved. Raburn gets multi-year security at the age of 32, while the Indians get the value he presents in a super-sub role at an affordable price.
|T.J. Zuppe covers the Cleveland Indians for ESPN 850 WKNR. Catch TJ on The Hooligans weekdays from 3:00p.m.-6:00p.m. on ESPN 850 WKNR.|
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