With the release of Chris Perez, the Indians have a vacancy in their bullpen — the closer spot could be filled by a big-name free agent.
The team will talk to free agents Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson, according to Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.
GM Chris Antonetti is scheduled to talk to agent Dan
Lozano about two of
his clients, closers Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson. Rodney went 5-4
with a 3.38 ERA and 37 saves in 45 chances for the Rays. Wilson,
rebounding from two Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow, made 18
appearances for the Dodgers, going 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA in a set-up role.
made $2.5 million this year, but his price tag is expected to soar. The
Dodgers signed Wilson as a free agent on July 30 for a reported $1
million. He made $8.5 million with the Giants in 2012 when he appeared
in only two games after saving 160 games from 2008-11.
After releasing Perez, Antonetti mentioned Cody Allen and Brian Shaw as internal options for the closer role, but said the team will also explore the free agent market for bullpen help.
“I expect it will be an area that we seek to address as we work through the winter,” Antonetti said. “Whether it’s an experienced closer or other guys who have experience in high-leverage situations to complement the group we have.”
Since finding a closer isn’t exactly a pressing need for the Indians, they’ll probably wait for free agent price tags to drop before making any deals.
The team will first have to focus on acquiring at least one or two starting pitchers after the loss of Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir.