Indians Sign Mulholland, Burba
CLEVELAND (AP) _ Pitchers Terry Mulholland and Dave Burba returned to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, hours before the midnight deadline for them to re-sign.
Mulholland agreed to a one-year contract and Burba agreed to a minor league deal that included an invitation to spring training. If the pair had not signed Wednesday, they would have been unable to return to the Indians until May 1.
The Indians will rely on them to provide innings and mentor the team’s young pitching staff as the team rebuilds, general manager Mark Shapiro said.
``They understand where we are in our process. They want to be part of it,″ he said.
Mulholland, a left-hander who will be 40 next season, was 3-2 with a 4.60 ERA in three starts and 13 relief appearances last season after the Indians acquired him along with Ricardo Rodriguez and Francisco Cruceta from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Paul Shuey. Mulholland has a career major league record of 116-127.
Cleveland signed Burba, 36, in early August last year after he struggled with Texas and was released. He was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts and nine relief appearances with the Indians.
Burba won 15 or more games for the Indians in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He has made 127 starts in four-plus seasons with Cleveland and has a career record of 110-85.
Mulholland had an immediate impact on the Indians’ young pitchers as a mentor after he joined the team last year, Shapiro said.
``He wants that responsibility,″ Shapiro said.
Mulholland got the major league contract over Burba because he’s a lefty and because of his durability.
``He can start one day and go out and pitch out of the bullpen the next day,″ Shapiro said.
Mulholland and Burba will pitch in middle relief and could be used as spot starters.
``They could get starts throughout the year depending on the health of our starting pitching,″ Shapiro said.
Cleveland’s bullpen will include Danys Baez, Mark Wohlers, Carl Sadler and Mulholland, Shapiro said. Burba will compete for the last three spots.
To make room for Mulholland on the 40-man roster, the Indians designated pitcher Jose Santiago for assignment.