July 25, 2014

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Tribe: Pitcher Brett Myers joins the fold

CLEVELAND — The Indians continued their busy offseason ways Tuesday, acquiring veteran pitching assistance as they prepare to officially announce the signing of free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher.

Brett Myers

Though the team did not confirm as much, multiple sources reported that Cleveland has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-hander Brett Myers. The deal includes a club option for the 2014 season.

Myers, 32, split last season with the Astros and White Sox, going a combined 3-8 with a 3.31 ERA in 70 relief appearances. He was traded to Chicago in July in the midst of his third season with Houston.

Though Myers pitched exclusively out of the bullpen last year, he has spent the majority of his 10-year career as a starter — a role he is expected to fill with the Indians, who have been searching for rotation help this offseason.

In 249 career starts, Myers, a former first-round draft pick who spent his first seven-plus big league seasons with the Phillies, is 89-79 with a 4.27 ERA.

The addition of Myers also gives the Indians flexibility should they choose to move a reliever. Cleveland lost left-hander Tony Sipp, but acquired proven bullpen additions, right-handers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw, in a three-team trade with Cincinnati and Arizona on Dec. 11.

If the Indians choose to return Myers to the starting role, he would likely join Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Zach McAllister among the top four pitchers in the rotation.

The fifth spot could come down to a spring training competition between Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Scott Kazmir and Trevor Bauer.

Bauer, 21, was the gem from the multi-team trade with the Reds and Diamondbacks — the third overall draft pick in 2011 who made his big-league debut with Arizona last year.

Myers has to pass a physical examination before the signing is official. It is expected to be announced, along with Swisher’s four-year contract worth $56 million, by the end of the week.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at (440) 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.