Some Minor Additions

Ernie Young

The Indians have re-signed three players and added two more from other organizations -- all to minor-league contracts.<br><br> Outfielder Ernie Young and right-handers Jake Robbins and Kenny Rayborn were re-signed.<br><br> Shortstop Jose Morban and right-hander Steve Watkins also were added, according to <I>Baseball America.</I><br>

Young, 35, had an outstanding season for the Indians' Class AAA farm team in Buffalo in 2004, hitting .302 with 28 homers and 103 RBI in 116 games.

Rayborn, who turned 30 Nov. 22, spent most of the season at Buffalo after pitching at Class AA Akron in April, where he appeared in six games out of the bullpen before being promoted. In 23 games at Buffalo, he made 22 starts and went 8-2 with a 3.64 ERA.

Rayborn joined the Indians organization in August of 2003 out of the independent Central League.

Robbins, 28, pitched in relief at Akron and Buffalo before making his big-league debut with the Indians in September (allowing three hits and one run in 1 2-3 innings).

At Akron, he went 2-1 with a 3.28 ERA in 12 games. With the Bisons,Rayborn was 6-1 with a 3.15 ERA in 32 games, including two starts.

Robbins, who was signed by Cleveland in spring training 2003 as a minor-league free agent, did not allow a run 4 1-3 innings during Buffalo's run to the International League championship.

Young was named to the IL post-season All-Star Team and the Topps Triple-A All-Star Team. The 15-year veteran went 2-for-4 in three games with the Indians in late September, but was among several veterans not kept on the 40-man roster shortly after the season concluded.

That also was the case with Morban, 24, who was cut loose by Baltimore and Watkins, 26, released by San Diego.

Morban, a swift Dominican originally signed by Texas in 1997, had been acquired by the Orioles in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft and spent the entire 2003 season with Baltimore. He hit just .141 (10-for-71) with two homers and five RBI in 61 games for the O's but did go 8-for-8 in steal attempts.

The right-handed hitter split the 2004 season between Class A Frederick (hitting .235) and Class AA Bowie (.210). In 622 career minor-league games, he has a .244 average with 43 homers and 239 RBI and 161 stolen bases.

Watkins was a 16th-round pick by the Padres in 1998 and spent five years in their system before making the majors this past September. He had no record and a 6.28 ERA in 14 1-3 innings over 11 relief appearances for San Diego.

In 183 career games in the minors, including 119 starts, Watkins has gone 38-39 with a 4.12 ERA, allowing 705 hits and 327 walks while striking out 658 in 734 innings.

Four players who were in the Indians' minor-league system in 2004 were signed by other teams: left-hander Jeriome Robertson by Cincinnati; outfielder Mark Little by Florida; infielder Chris Clapinski by Kansas City and outfielder Jason Tyner by Minnesota.

All four spent the majority of 2004 at Class AAA Buffalo, though Robertson and Little each had brief stints with the Indians.

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