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Tribe signs Shoppach to Minor League contract

DETROIT -- The Indians brought back a familiar face on Friday, signing Kelly Shoppach to a Minor League contract and assigning him to Triple-A Columbus. He will likely return to Cleveland after rosters expand Sunday.

Shoppach hit .196 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 35 games with the Mariners this season before he was released on June 20. He later signed with the Nationals and Pirates, but wasn't promoted to the Majors with either club.

Manager Terry Francona said the catcher could give the Indians some added flexibility late in games.

"Because we have [Yan Gomes] and when we play Gomes, we usually play [Carlos] Santana, it will allow us to do some pinch-running, knowing we have a veteran guy we can put in in the ninth inning," Francona said.

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for
Read More: Cleveland Indians, Kelly Shoppach