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Monday, November 3, 2003
Indians sign Bere, Wohlers to minor league contracts


CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians, who again are expected to have a young team, on Monday signed veteran pitchers Jason Bere, Mark Wohlers and Dave Lee to minor league contracts.

Terms of the deals were not released and each received an invite to spring training.

The 32-year-old Bere has battled arm problems the last few seasons and made just two starts last season, on May 22 and 27, before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a tear in his the labrum and some fraying in the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Bere is 71-65 with a 5.14 ERA in 211 career games, including 203 starts. The righthander went 24-7 in his first two seasons, 1993-94, with the Chicago White Sox. He first experienced arm trouble in 1995, when he was 8-15 and made just five starts the following season as he battled elbow tendinitis. He underwent surgery on his pitching elbow for the first time in September 1996.

The 33-year-old Wohlers missed all of last season after undergoing two operations on his right elbow. The righthander is 39-29 with a 3.97 ERA and 119 saves in 533 games. He had 97 saves from 1995-97, helping the Atlanta Braves win the World Series in 1995.

The 30-year-old Lee was acquired on September 6 from the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Alex Requena and was 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA in eight relief appearances for Cleveland. The righthander was 3-2 with a 3.13 ERA and nine saves in 56 games with Class AAA Las Vegas before coming to Cleveland.

The Indians on Monday also activated shortstop Omar Vizquel, infielder Ricky Gutierrez, outfielder Ryan Ludwick and relief pitcher Bob Wickman from the 60-day disabled list, bringing the 40-man roster to 35.