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Dan Wheeler agrees to minor-league contract with Indians

Jan 26, 2012, 5:06 PM EST

Boston Red Sox v Kansas City Royals Getty Images

As further proof of what a buyer’s market this offseason is for relief pitching, the Indians have signed Dan Wheeler to a minor-league contract.

Wheeler is certainly far from a great reliever, but he’s been a solid, dependable setup man for the better part of a decade and yet couldn’t even secure a big-league contract coming off a season in which he threw 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio for the Red Sox.

Wheeler fares poorly against left-handed power hitters, but he throws strikes, misses plenty of bats, and has been very effective versus righties while posting a 3.88 ERA in 628 career innings. He’ll have to fight for a middle relief gig during spring training after making $3 million in 2011.

  1. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jan 27, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Another day, another minor league contract with an invite, for the Tribe. The Clipper are going to be stacked this year! Way to upstage the Tigers, Dolan boys! Keep em coming, the next one will put us over the top for sure!

  2. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jan 27, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    So far this off season, the Tribe has acquired, via trade or minor league deal: Jose Lopez, Felix Pie, Andy LaRoche, Robinson Tejada, Chris Ray, Jeremy Accardo, Fred Lewis, Gregorio Petit, Ryan Spillbourghs, Kevin Slowey, Dan Wheeler, Derek Lowe, and re-signed Grady Sizemore. The Dolan’s want to know why former owner Dick Jacobs sold out that stadium every game, and he can’t? This list is a pretty good starting point to the discussion.

    • bobwsc - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      maybe they’re doing a real life remake of the movie Major League.

    • thelmt82 - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      Yea, because when he went out and signed Wayne Kirby, Alvaro Espinoza, Jim Poole, Paul Assenmacher, Eric Plunk, Tony Pena, Paul Sorrento, Mark Clark, an aging Jack Morris and Dennis Martinez, it was such a terrible idea.

      You do know that ALL teams sign guys like this. The only difference is that they are all usually signed at the same time and not many press releases about it.

      The reasons the Indians sold out all the time in the 90′s was because the Browns were gone and because the young guys really hit at the same time. And teams weren’t spending over $100M+ on their payroll. It was a case where everything hit all at once. And this is coming from a guy that is not a fan of the Dolans whatsoever.

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