Indians Give Lavisky Home Cooking





CLEVELAND—After being drafted by his hometown Indians last summer, catcher Alex Lavisky got a good taste of the transient life of being a professional baseball player.

After he signed in the eighth round, Lavisky spent eight days in the Rookie-level Arizona League. Then he spent a week traveling with low Class A Lake County, the team he is expected to join in April. After that, he spent nearly a month back out in Arizona at instructional league.

It wasn't until October that the 19-year-old product from St. Edwards High saw his whirlwind introductions come to an end and was finally able to go home to Lakewood, Ohio, and sleep in his own bed.

Perhaps that's when it dawned on Lavisky how smart it was to have turned down other teams when they called to inquire about him during the draft with what he called "lowball offers" and instead agreed to go to the Indians later in the eighth round, signing for $1 million to pass on going to Georgia Tech.

"It worked out just right," said Lavisky, who noted it also helps that his girlfriend attends nearby John Carroll University. "It'll be perfect. Especially this coming season at Lake County, Eastlake is just 20 minutes off the shore way. My friends and family could be there every game if they want to."

As Lavisky moves through the farm system, Double-A Akron is also just a 30-minute ride away from Cleveland and Triple-A Columbus is a two and a half hour drive. Cleveland's Progressive Field is no more than a half hour from the Lavisky's suburban Lakewood home.

"For now, I plan to live here at home," Lavisky said. "It just makes financial sense to live at my house and save my money to create a nest egg for later on."

Lavisky was no stranger to the Tribe, who had scouted him and righthander Stetson Allie, his hard-throwing teammate who was drafted by the Pirates in the second round.

"His strength and athleticism at his age are advanced," farm director Ross Atkins said. "He's a pure catcher whose baseball acumen is off the charts due to the program he comes from, how well he was coached and the pitchers he's caught."

SMOKE SIGNALS

• The Indians signed righthander Doug Mathis, 27, to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to major league camp. Mathis split the 2010 season between Texas and Triple-A Oklahoma, posting a 6.04 ERA in 13 major league relief appearances.

• The Tribe acquired righthander Joe Martinez, 27, from the Pirates for a player to be named or cash. Martinez split last season between the Triple-A and major league levels with the Pirates and Giants.