Ex-Gator Raburn rewarded by Tribe with extension
Published: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 5:16 p.m.
CLEVELAND — Ryan Raburn came to training camp this spring with something to prove. He wanted to show the Indians that a disastrous 2012 season in Detroit was behind him. He wanted a fresh start, a new home.
He's found it.
The versatile Raburn was rewarded Wednesday with a two-year, $4.85 million contract extension that includes a $3 million club option for 2016.
Released by the Tigers after last season, Raburn has had a major impact in his first year with the Indians, who signed him to a minor league free agent contract in January.
Raburn, who played at Florida, is batting .277 with 13 homers — third most on the team — and 38 RBIs in 66 games. He's made starts in right field (37), left (seven), second base (two) and designated hitter (five), and Indians manager Terry Francona has batted him everywhere but the No. 1 and 2 spot in the order.
Raburn has also been one of the Indians' most clutch players. He enters Wednesday's game batting .462 (12 of 26) with 19 RBIs with runners in scoring position and two outs.
It's fitting that Raburn received his new deal while the Tigers were in town. Last season, he was named Detroit's starting second baseman before opening day. However, the 32-year-old battled injuries, hit just .171 in 66 games and spent some time at Triple-A Toledo before the Tigers released him. He was also the target of boos at Comerica Park and the Tigers left him off their postseason roster.
Raburn was selected by Detroit in the 2001 draft.