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05/11/09 7:05 PM ET
Indians sign Neal to Minor League deal
Righty assigned to Columbus; Vizcaino watch continues
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- The Luis Vizcaino watch continues. In the meantime, the Indians have made one signing official. On Monday, the club announced that it had signed right-handed reliever Blaine Neal to a Minor League deal and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus. The 31-year-old Neal hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2005 with the Red Sox and Rockies, and he's coming off a 2008 season with Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers' system. The Indians are looking for possible relief help any way they can get it, so they'll get a look at Neal, who has appeared in 113 Major League games with the Marlins, Padres, Rockies and Red Sox, compiling a 5-4 record and 5.08 ERA. Neal, a fourth-round Draft pick by the Marlins in 1996, owns a career Minor League record of 31-22 with a 2.67 ERA in 353 games. Last year, Neal went 1-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 26 saves in 38 appearances with Toledo. As for Vizcaino, he remains a regular presence in the Indians' clubhouse, and he's been telling people that he signed with the Indians and will be with the Major League club this week. But the team remains quiet on Vizcaino's status. All manager Eric Wedge would confirm is that Vizcaino will throw in front of the coaching staff for a third time before Tuesday's game against the White Sox. It's still expected that the right-handed Vizcaino, who is 34-27 with a 4.31 ERA in 532 career relief appearances and was cut by the Cubs late last month, will be with the Major League team soon.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.