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Re-signed RHRP Bob Howry to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration

I haven’t been able to glean the monetary details from the Web, but I’ll assume it’s around $1M, give or take a little. Pretty good signing, given Howry’s effectiveness and his possible versatility. With Riske, Betancourt, Miller, and Sauerbeck already reasonable shots to comprise next year’s bullpen, only the closer role is vacant. But like I said before, the Indians should go ahead and sign a bunch of NRIs to stick in Buffalo just in case.

Re-signed RHSP Scott Elarton to a one-year contract ($850k plus incentives)

It looks like Shapiro isn’t wasting any time taking care of the role players. Elarton at $850k is probably below market value, given the general appetite for starting pitching throughout the league. Elarton is most definitely still in the marginal category, but as a 5th starter, you’ll take your chances with him. Now that four-fifths of the rotation seem spoken for, Shapiro can go after a second-tier starter to man the third spot in the rotation. I’d really like to see the Indians go hard after Matt Clement; he’s probably one of the few pitchers out there that may be a better pitcher in 2005 than 2004. He hails from nearby Butler, Pa., only a two hours’ drive from Cleveland, so that would be a nice selling point.

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