<
>

Courted closer undergoes physical

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Cleveland Indians are meeting with
free-agent relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina, four days after losing closer Bob Wickman
for at least half the season.

Urbina, who helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series last
season, took a physical for the Indians on Monday.

"We are not at the stage where we are discussing terms, nor are
we anywhere close to it," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro
said.

"We're doing our medical due diligence on him. Urbina is one of our options, but he's not the only one."

Urbina, 30, was 3-4 with a 2.81 ERA last season and
converted 32 of 38 save opportunities for Texas and Florida. He
saved four games for Florida during the postseason.

Pittsburgh and Minnesota reportedly made offers that did not
approach what Urbina was hoping to be paid. He earned $4.5 million
last year.

Peter Greenberg, the pitcher's agent, did not return a telephone
message.

Wickman, recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery, has a
sprained right elbow and will not pitch again until at least after
the All-Star break.

Right-handed setup man David Riske will get the first opportunity to replace Wickman, Shapiro said last week.

The Indians have 11 Grapefruit League games left as of Tuesday before breaking camp April 2.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.