Hernandez, Fultz Signed

Signed RHP Roberto Hernandez to a One-Year, $3.5M Contract (2008 Club Option)

I've long given up trying to predict relief performances, but Hernandez has a pretty sizable track record of being an acceptable setup man. Should he close games? No way. Can he be a reliable 8th-inning pitcher? Maybe, but I wouldn't recommend trying. He should be good in a middle relief role, though.

Signed LHP Aaron Fultz to a One-Year, $1.5M Contract (2008 Club Option)

Fultz is that "veteran" lefty that the Indians wanted to pair with one of their young southpaws in the bullpen. He's definite LOOGY material (career LH .241/.304/.350 against); there's no aspirations of placing him into a role that he's not capable of filling.

It's no secret that Shapiro loves the club option; it essentially gives the Indians two one-year contracts, and given the volatile nature of the middle reliever, the freedom to dump the guy at the first inkling of trouble. I know that's a terrible thing to say, but the nature of the position makes the dump-and-chase strategy the most efficient strategy of cobbling together the front end of a bullpen.

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