Jan 30, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT
Last week the Indians signed veteran infielder Julio Lugo to a minor-league contract, or so they thought.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the deal has “fallen apart” and the Indians no longer expect to sign Lugo, who would have competed for a bench spot in spring training at age 36.
He would have been unlikely to make the team anyway, as Lugo saw very limited action in the majors with the Braves last season while hitting .136 and hit just .249 with a .581 OPS in 93 games for the Orioles in 2010.
Mostly it just seems weird that negotiations for a minor-league contract could break down, because there really isn’t a whole lot to negotiate other than maybe an invitation to spring training or an opt-out clause if he’s not in the majors by a certain date.
Or maybe someone in the Indians’ front office realized what was happening and said: “Wait, is this the same Julio Lugo? The 36-year-old one?”
UPDATE: Bastian follows up to say that Lugo passing a physical exam may have been the issue, which makes sense.