Indians Intend To Sign Reliever With Closer Experience

The Indians have every intention of adding an impactful veteran relief arm, club president Mark Shapiro told hosts Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette today on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (audio link). "We will clearly add a bullpen guy and a guy that has some back end closing experience," said Shapiro. "I think in the next week or two you'll see us be able to consummate something there."

After cutting loose former closer Chris Perez and allowing setup man Joe Smith to depart via free agency, the Indians have some potential openings at the back of the pen. Of course, as MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth has explained, the team has reasonably attractive internal options as well. And as Shapiro added, the club feels that both Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw could "step up and pitch later in games."

Armed with that internal security net, Shapiro also hinted that the Indians could be looking to achieve value on the late-inning relief market, rather than targeting a particular pitcher. "It's an area of the market where there was an opportunity," he said. 

Indeed, a sizeable pool of relievers with closing experience remains available on the open market. Most recently, Cleveland has been connected to former Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit as well as one-time Brewers 9th-inning man John Axford.

If you want to brainstorm other possibilities for the Indians, or any other club, simply head to MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Tracker (found under the "Tools" section) and filter the results to suit your needs. 

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