Foulke to take physical for Indians

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CLEVELAND (AP) – Free agent reliever Keith Foulke arrived Tuesday to take his physical for the Cleveland Indians, the final step before the club can complete a one-year deal with the right-hander.

Foulke and his agent, Dan Horwits, have been in talks for several weeks with the club, which is believed to be offering a mutual option for 2008.

If he passes his physical – the team may not have complete results for a few days – Foulke would give the Indians another option at closer.

The club has already signed free agent Joe Borowski to improve a bullpen that had a major league-low 24 saves in 2006.

Borowski had 36 saves in 43 chances last season for the Florida Marlins

The 34-year-old Foulke went 3-1 with a 4.35 ERA but no saves in 44 games in 2006 for the Boston Red Sox, but lost his closer’s job to rookie Jonathan Papelbon. Foulke was slowed by elbow and back troubles last season.

Two years ago, Foulke saved 32 games for Boston and fielded Edgar Renteria’s grounder for the final out as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.

In November, the club chose not to exercise its $7.5 million option.

Also on Tuesday, the Indians agreed to minor league contracts with free agent infielders Luis Rivas and Keith Ginter and invited them to their spring training camp.

The 27-year-old Rivas has a .262 career average with 30 homers, 177 RBIs and 78 steals in 565 games with the Minnesota Twins from 2000-05. He had his best season as a rookie in 2001, batting .266 with seven homers, 47 RBIs and 31 steals in 153 games.

Rivas hasn’t played in the majors since 2005, when he hit .257 before becoming a free agent.

After signing with Tampa Bay last January, he spent the season with the Devil Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in Durham, N.C. He missed the first two months with a broken knuckle that required surgery.

The 30-year-old Ginter spent last season with Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento. He batted .268 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs in 114 games. Ginter has also played for Houston and Milwaukee.

AP-ES-01-02-07 1749EST

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