CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Ross Grimsley, whose career has been on a downhill slide since he won 20 games for Montreal in 1978, was given his unconditional release by the Cleveland Indians Thursday.
Grimsley, 31, will be replaced on the Indians' roster by switch-hitting catcher Chris Bando, who was called up from the Tribe's AAA affiliate, the Charleston Charlies of the International League.
Grimsley, who has nine years of major league experience, had not pitched for the Indians this season. He was picked up by Cleveland from the Montreal Expos in July 1980.
Grimsley was 4-5 for the Indians last season with a 6.75 earned run average. He is in the third year of a five-year guaranteed contract with the Indians -- a deal estimated to be worth $175,000 a year.
An Indians spokesman said the club will pay off the remainder of Grimsley's agreement.
A former member of the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, Grimsley had his best season with the Expos in 1978, when he was 20-11 with a 3.05 ERA and was named to the National League All-Star team.
While with Cincinnati, Grimsley appeared in the 1972 World Series and tied the series record for most games won as a relief pitcher with a 2-1 mark.
Bando, 25, whose brother, Sal, plays for Milwaukee, was hitting .305 at Charleston, with 11 home runs, 16 doubles, two triples, 45 runs batted in and five stolen bases.