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Indians decline Wickman's option for next year

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Indians decline Wickman's option for next year

Postby thetongueofire » Sat Oct 16, 2004 11:32 am

Indians decline Wickman's option for 05

yahoo wrote:CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians declined Friday to pick up the $5 million option on closer Bob Wickman's contract for next season.

The club is still waiting to hear if Wickman, 36, is going to retire. If Wickman does want his career to continue, Indians general manager Mark Shapiro thinks he can work out a new deal with the right-hander.

Wickman is discussing his future with family and is expected to let the team know his plans by late next month.

If Wickman doesn't return, the Indians may try to sign a free agent closer or could try Bob Howry or Jason Davis in that role next season.

Wickman, who missed most of two seasons after undergoing elbow surgery, went 0-2 with a 4.25 ERA in 30 appearances this season. He had 13 saves in 14 tries.

The Indians outrighted infielder Lou Merloni and catcher Tim Laker to Triple-A Buffalo. Both veterans declined the outright, and will become free agents.

Cleveland wants to re-sign the versatile Merloni, who provided a spark and leadership in his first season with the Indians. Laker's chances of coming back are very slim with Josh Bard expected to be Victor Martinez's backup in 2005.


who do you think will take over next year ? Riske has pitched a lot better since he lost the job....
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Postby Tavish » Sat Oct 16, 2004 11:37 am

I would put the Indians near the top of the list to sign a proven closer ( Percy or Benitez perhaps). They had so many problems with the role this year it will most likely be a high priority.
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Postby LBJackal » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:01 pm

If anybody on their current roster, Rafael Betancourt would be the best closer IMO. I think he'd do a pretty good job, and if they don't sign a new closer before the season, I'd say it'll be him that gets the nod.
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Postby Zito is God » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:03 pm

Indians sign veteran proven closer = they make the playoffs.

I don't remmember the exact numbers but if the Indians won every game the bullpen has lost for them after the 7th inning they would be up about 4 games over the Twins in the end of the season.

The rebuilding process is coming along nicer for us then expected, and next year might even be the year. ;-D
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Postby Registered_Guest » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:52 pm

Tavish wrote:I would put the Indians near the top of the list to sign a proven closer.


I'll say it's.....Bob Wickman!
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Postby raiders_umpire » Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:07 pm

i think the indians will be on the freeagent hunt for closer as well..... as there main problem this year was relief pitching....a good closer (percival ???maybe) and another strong arm in the pen for the 8th innings would probably get them 12-15 more wins....
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Postby kimchi_chigae » Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:49 pm

i agree with you guys. the indians have surprised me how well they played this year and if they are able to sign a closer, that would make them a lot better...

if they don't sign a closer, then i guess betancourt will get the job.

however, they might wait one more year before making a big free angecy signing.
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Postby Zito is God » Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:27 pm

IF they don't sign a closer I still say Riske gets the job because he was always the young prospect bieng groomed into a closer, while bentacourt was the relief guy.
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Postby Madison » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:50 am

Agreed with everyone else. If they don't sign a name, Betancourt will get the job.

Thanks for the heads up! ;-D
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Postby eftda » Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:30 am

I doubt if the Tribe uses a closer from within. Didn't work too well for SF (Did for Atlanta and HOU/A's).. but its a big riske...er risk to make. ;-)

If I remember correctly, back in the 1st half, the tribe blew like 8 games because they didn't have a closer. Bullpen problems. The tribe will get a closer this winter (maybe not a good one because of their cash issues).
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