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Tribe close to deal with Foulke

Tribe close to deal with Foulke

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CLEVELAND -- The Indians are closing in on another closing candidate.

The club is on the verge of signing free-agent right-hander Keith Foulke to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2008, Foulke's agent, Dan Horwits, said on Tuesday.

The two sides hoped to have the deal worked out this past weekend, but the holidays have gummed up the works a tad. Nonetheless, Horwits speculated that a deal could be cemented in the next day or two.

"It's safe to say the Indians are the favorites," Horwits said. "But they're not the only team. There are still a few left."

Foulke, 34, went 3-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 44 appearances for the Red Sox last year, but, slowed by knee and arm troubles, he lost his closer's job to rookie Jonathan Papelbon.

In 2004, Foulke saved 32 games in the regular season and was a World Series hero for Boston, which ended an 86-year title drought.

If signed by the Tribe, Foulke would likely compete for the closer's job with fellow veteran Joe Borowski.

Horwits said Foulke is intrigued by the Indians because he views them as a club capable of a playoff run. The reliever is more interested in a one-year deal than a multi-year one.

"He prefers to have some flexibility after '07," Horwits said.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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