Indians Ink Graffanino, Rincon

Two veterans given minor league deals

By Buffalo Bisons | June 24, 2008 9:56 AM ET

The Cleveland Indians today announced that they have signed INF Tony Graffanino and RHP Juan Rincon to minor league contracts. Both are likely to be assigned to the Bisons in the coming days.

Graffanino, 35, owns a career Major League batting average of .267 (743-2787) with 144 doubles, 21 triples, 58 home runs and 302 over 12 seasons with six different teams. He was drafted by Atlanta in the 10th round of the 1990 draft and made his debut with the Braves in 1995. Graffanino recently hit a combined .309 (117-379) in 2005 for Kansas City and Boston and in 2006 appeared in a career-high 129 games with a career-best 59RBI (.274) between K.C. and Milwaukee.

In 2007, Graffanino hit.238 (55-231) with nine home runs and 30RBI in 86 games for the Brewers before suffering a season-ending right knee injury in August. He underwent surgery in August for a torn meniscus and later in December for a torn ACL on the knee.

Rincon, 29, was let go by the Minnesota Twins on June 12 after appearing in 24 games in relief with the Twins. He went 2-2 with a 6.11ERA in 28.0 innings of work for Minnesota (33H, 19ER, 16BB, 20K).

Rincon, originally signed by the Twins as on non-drafted free agent in 1996, owns a career Major League record of 30-26 with a 3.69ERA and three saves in 386 games (441.0IP, 414H, 181ER, 412K. During each season from 2004-06, he appeared in 70+ games and recorded an ERA under of 2.91 or lower. His 81 holds from 2004-07 were the 2nd most in the American League over that 4-year span. His 383 relief appearances are the 3rd most in Twins history.

-herd-

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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