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Indians Sign Jimenez to Complete Bullpen

January 8, 2004

CLEVELAND (AP) _ The Cleveland Indians signed right-handed reliever Jose Jimenez to a one-year contract worth just over $1 million Thursday.

Jimenez gives the Indians a setup man who can also close games if Bob Wickman struggles in his return from elbow surgery.

The 30-year-old Jimenez is Colorado’s career saves leader with 102. He had 20 saves last season despite a 2-10 record and 5.22 ERA. He appeared in 63 games with seven starts.

He saved a team record 41 games in 2002. He pitched a no-hitter as a rookie in 1999 with St. Louis.

``This is a guy that we felt provides great durability and versatility in the pen,″ Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said. ``He can give us multiple innings and can close ballgames.″

Jimenez essentially replaces Danys Baez, who signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay earlier this week.

The Indians plan to use Wickman as the closer and David Riske, Scott Stewart, Bobby Howry and Jimenez as setup men.

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