Cleveland Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta and utility infielder Brent Lillibridge were outrighted to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers on Tuesday, and right-handed pitcher Fabio Martinez was designated for assignment. Added to the 40-man roster from Indians minor-league affiliates were right-handed pitchers Chen-Chang Lee and Trey Haley, outfielder Tim Fedroff, and left-handed pitcher T.J. House. MLB beat writer Jordan Bastian reported the moves on Twitter.
LaPorta cannot refuse the assignment. He played only 22 games in 2012 with the big-league club, and is currently recovering from hip surgery. He owns a .238/.301/.393 career line in 1,068 plate appearances since 2008 with the Indians.
Lillibridge came over from Boston on July 24. He can opt for free agency.
The prospects added to the 40-man are now protected from the Rule 5 Draft, to be held on Dec. 6 at baseball's winter meetings in Nashville. Lee, a 26-year-old sidearmer, and Haley, are both relievers. House, 23, went 10-5 with a 3.56 ERA last year in 27 starts at Class A and AA. The 25-year-old Fedroff, who hits left-handed, had a .316 average last year, with 10 triples and 12 homers in a season split between Double- and Triple-A.