David Riske, the veteran relief pitcher who compiled a 2.45 ERA in 65 games for the Kansas City Royals last season, is on the verge of agreeing to a multiyear deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to a club source.
"We're still talking," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "We're optimistic we'll be able to get something done, but we don't anticipate anything until next week."
Riske, 31, pitched in six seasons for the Cleveland Indians before going to Boston in the deal for Coco Crisp and splitting the 2006 season with the Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. Riske rebounded strongly in 2007, allowing just 27 walks and striking out 52 in 69 2/3 innings while working in middle relief for the Royals.
The Royals had been offered Riske a two-year deal for about $6 million at the start of this offseason, but the market price for middle relievers has climbed upward again, driven in part by the four-year, $19 million deal signed by Linebrink with the White Sox.
Buster Olney is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. The Associated Press contributed to this report.