Jeremy Accardo, Fred Lewis sign

Updated: January 19, 2012, 3:13 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Injuries exposed the Cleveland Indians' lack of quality depth last season and led to their September swoon.

They're looking for extra insurance this year.

The Indians added more experience on Thursday, agreeing to minor league contracts with reliever Jeremy Accardo and outfielder Fred Lewis. Both players received non-roster invitations to spring training and will have a chance to make the club.

One of general manager Chris Antonetti's goals this offseason was to improve the Indians' overall depth in the majors and upper minor leagues. He has given non-roster invitations to 17 players.

Accardo will compete for an opening in Cleveland's bullpen. The 30-year-old has appeared in 235 games with Baltimore, Toronto and San Francisco since 2005.

The right-hander had his best season in 2007 when Accardo was the Blue Jays' part-time closer and went 4-4 with 30 saves and a 2.14 ERA. If Accardo makes Cleveland's 40-man roster out of camp, he will make $825,000 with the chance to earn another $300,000 in performance bonuses.

Last season, Accardo pitched in 31 games for the Orioles and spent time with their Triple-A Norfolk affiliate.

The 31-year-old Lewis, a career .267 hitter, has played with San Francisco, Toronto and Cincinnati. He batted .230 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 81 games for the Reds last season. He began the year on the disabled list with a strained oblique.

In 2008, Lewis batted .282 with 11 triples and 40 RBIs for the Giants.

If put on the big league roster, he would have $725,000 with the opportunity to earn $500,000 in performance bonuses.

Antonettti said last week he still wants to find more offensive help for his team this winter. He believes the Indians, who fell apart down the stretch amid a slew of injuries, are primed to contend for the AL Central title in 2010.

Antonetti refused to talk about specific players but would like to add a proven hitter and the team is believed to be pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Pena and Casey Kotchman.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press