CLEVELAND -- Ryan Raburn was out of a job after the Tigers released him last fall, and he admitted to reporters Wednesday that he briefly considered walking away from the game. The fact that he was celebrating a new two-year contract extension from the Indians on Wednesday says plenty about his turnaround.
Just in case it doesn't say enough, though, his old manager added to the sentiment.
"I'm thrilled," Jim Leyland said. "If I don't get a sleeve of golf balls, I'm going to be very disappointed."
Raburn said he would get Leyland a short sleeve.
"I'm so happy for him," Leyland continued. "Well deserved. I'm really glad for him. He's comfortable here. He's got a manager that he's going to have a great relationship with, because his manager's a terrific guy. I think things are going to really work out for him. I couldn't be happier for him. We're all happy for him."
Raburn signed a two-year contract in Detroit before the 2011 season, avoiding arbitration. Once that deal expired following a disappointing 2012 campaign in Detroit, the Tigers released him.
A year ago at this point, Raburn was mired on the bench in Detroit, on his way to a .171 average with one home run and 12 RBIs in 205 at-bats. He entered Wednesday batting .277 with 14 doubles, 13 homers and 38 RBIs in 184 at-bats.