The Indians could be on the verge of losing another pitcher from their bullpen. Several teams have asked about free agent right-hander Matt Albers and at least one has reportedly offered him a two-year deal. One of the teams interested in Albers is believed to be an AL Central rival of the Indians, perhaps Detroit or Chicago. The Indians and Albers have talked mostly about a one-year deal, but have been unable to agree upon a price. Albers made $1.75 million last season. The Tribe is on a tight budget this offseason after spending much of the incoming TV money for 2014 last winter by signing free agents Nick Swisher for four years and $56 million and Michael Bourn for four years and $48 million. The Indians are down four relievers from a bullpen that went 33-16 with 38 saves and a 3.62 ERA last season. Closer Chris Perez was released on Oct. 31. Joe Smith signed a three-year $15.75 million deal with the Angels, while Albers and left-hander Rich Hill are free agents. They also lost free-agent starter Scott Kazmir, who signed a two-year $22 million deal with Oakland earlier in the week. Last season AL Central rivals Kansas City and Minnesota had better bullpens than the Indians, who won more games and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2007. The Royals had the best ERA in the league at 2.55, while the Twins ranked fifth at 3.50. The White Sox (4.00) and the division champion Tigers (4.01) did not fare as well as the Tribe. The Indians acquired Albers, Bryan Shaw and Trevor Bauer from Arizona last December in a three-team deal with the Reds. Shaw is in line to be the Indians top set-up man or closer in 2014, while Bauer could compete for the fifth spot in the rotation if he can solve his delivery problems.
Matt Albers could be next bullpen defection for Indians
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Dec 6