Former South Carolina pitcher Michael Roth has signed with the Cleveland Indians.
The left-hander, who left the Los Angeles Angels organization in November after clearing waivers and electing to become a free agent, agreed to a deal late last month with the Indians.
"It was a good Christmas present," Roth told The State. "Ultimately, the thing that was the most attractive was, one, they wanted me, and two, they're giving me a chance to go in and compete in spring training (for a major league roster spot). That's all you can ask for when you're in my position."
Roth will report Feb. 18 to Cleveland's spring training camp in Goodyear, Ariz., although he's unsure how the Indians will use him.
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"The role is pretty fluid," he said. "They know I can start. I have in the minors. Whether I'm a starter or a reliever is something that will be decided by need and competition."
It's not the first time Cleveland has shown interest in Roth, who was chosen by the Indians in the 31st round of the 2011 MLB draft after his All-American junior season with the Gamecocks.
"They knew me well from an organizational standpoint," he said. "They drafted me in 2011 and I ended up turning them down. It's a perfect opportunity for me."
Roth, 24, is living in Hawaii this off-season, but he will return to the Columbia area in a few weeks.
He posted a 2-1 record 7.79 ERA over 32 1/3 innings in 22 appearances for the Angels during several major-league call-ups over the last two seasons. He had a solid season for Double-A Arkansas in 2014, going 11-7 with a 2.62 ERA in 140 2/3 innings.
After posting a 26-6 record and 1.91 ERA in four seasons for the Gamecocks while helping the program win a pair of national championships, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound pitcher was selected in the ninth round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Angels.