Wedge wants a closer
There had been some speculation, fueled primarily by Eric Wedge’s end-of-season comments, that the Indians might be willing to leave Jensen Lewis in the closer’s role and focus on bringing in a setup guy, if a more experienced closing candidate is not brought in through free agency or trade.
But in discussing the hiring of Chuck Hernandez as bullpen coach today, Wedge gave his strongest remarks yet about the need to find a closer.
"You hate to put all your eggs in one basket," Wedge said. "Jensen did a great job at the end, but he's still unproven. Until you've done it a whole year, or really even beyond that, you can't look at someone as a proven closer. There are too many X factors involved there."
Trevor Hoffman, who was nearly signed by the Indians in the winter before the '06 season, remains high on the club's radar.
I talked to Lewis, who saved 13 straight opportunities after taking over the Tribe's closing duties on Aug. 8, this afternoon, and he said he would welcome the arrival of the game's all-time saves leader.
"As a young kid, if you sign a guy like Trevor Hoffman, you're talking about the all-time saves leader," Lewis said. "He's been in every possible situation. It's one of those things, as a young player and a young closer trying to make yourself better, why wouldn't you welcome the chance to learn from a guy like that? To have a chance to learn from a guy like that would be priceless."
The division-rival Tigers might also be making a run at Hoffman, who could potentially land a two-year deal.
I'll have more on the Indians.com site in a little bit.