MLB roundup: Indians sign Elliot Johnson, shelve extension talks with Justin Masterson

Mike Zarrilli

The Indians added a veteran utility man but are still in an arbitration standstill with Masterson and several others.

The Cleveland Indians and Elliot Johnson on Monday agreed to a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, the team announced in a press release.

Johnson, 29, is coming off a season in which he hit .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances with the Royals and Braves. The switch-hitting utility man was much better in Atlanta, where he managed a career-best .261/.317/.359 line for a playoff team, than in Kansas City.

More from Let's Go Tribe: Indians sign INF Johnson

Johnson has spent time at every position on the diamond with the exception of pitcher and catcher but hasn't proven to be particularly great at any defensive spot, coming in at two runs below average for his career, per Baseball-Reference.

Mutual interest between the two parties was initially reported on Saturday by SB Nation's Chris Cotillo.

Indians, Masterson put extension talks on hold

The Indians and starting pitcher Justin Masterson remain open to a multi-year deal but have put those talks on hold in order to focus on avoiding arbitration, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Masterson asked for $3.75 million more than what the Tribe offered when the two sides exchanged figures earlier this month. That represents the largest disparity in baseball between any player and his club. The Indians also remain unsettled with pitchers Josh Tomlin and Vinnie Pestano and outfielder Michael Brantley.

Cleveland hasn't gone to arbitration with any player since Greg Swindell in 1991, but general manager Chris Antonetti believes that streak could be over, notes Hoynes.

Giants coach donates $96K to Stow family

San Francisco Giants third-base coach Tim Flannery donated $96,000 to the family of Bryan Stow over the weekend to help with the cost of continued treatment for traumatic injuries sustained in a beating outside of Dodger Stadium in 2011, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN).

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles

Stow will receive additional money from a silent auction and CD sales from Flannery's "Outside Lands" album, the longtime big-leaguer told AP. Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt and former San Francisco star Will Clark reportedly donated a combined $35,000 that was included in the amount Flannery issued to the family.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Grant Brisbee: The most baffling offseason in baseball

Byron Buxton tops Baseball Prospects' Top 101 list

5 top MLB free agents still seeking a new contract

David Ortiz says it may be "time to move on" from Red Sox

2014 MLB salary arbitration tracker

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