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Keith Foulke


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Cleveland's bullpen was a disaster last season, the difference between the Indians being competitive or not, and the hope of general manager Mark Shapiro was to create as many options for manager Eric Wedge going into the 2007 season.

 

But one of those alternatives already has evaporated, before Cleveland's first workout: Keith Foulke, signed to be a closer candidate after three seasons in Boston, is retiring.

 

Club sources say that Foulke had felt pain in his elbow in recent days, and after going through injury-plagued seasons in 2005 and 2006, he decided to end his 10-year career.

 

Foulke always will be remembered for being the pitcher on the mound when the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought in the 2004 World Series. Foulke would have earned $5 million in base salary with the Indians this year, and as much as $2 million in incentives.

 

Now that Foulke is walking away, veteran reliever Joe Borowski is the clear favorite to open the season as the Cleveland closer. Interestingly, Borowski actually had a deal to sign with Philadelphia in the offseason but failed his physical with the Phillies, and settled for a one-year deal with the Indians.

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