DH Burks not offered arbitration

Updated: December 8, 2003, 3:50 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Designated hitter Ellis Burks will likely play elsewhere next season after the Cleveland Indians decided not to offer him salary arbitration.

Terry Mulholland

Ellis Burks

The club did make an offer before Sunday's midnight deadline to veteran pitcher Terry Mulholland, who filled a variety of roles for the club last season.

By not offering Burks arbitration, the Indians cannot re-sign the free agent until May 1.

Burks' departure was expected after the Indians decided not to pick up his $5 million club option for 2004 in October. Burks had played in only 55 games last season before undergoing surgery to repair a nerve problem in his right elbow.

Burks, who signed as a free agent with Cleveland before the 2001 season, became too expensive for the Indians, who would rather invest in their younger players. He made $6.5 million last season.

Burks hit 66 homers with 193 RBI in three seasons for Cleveland, which signed him as a free agent before the 2001 season. He was also an excellent role model for the Indians' younger players. Even after having surgery, Burks traveled with the club to offer guidance and clubhouse leadership.

Mulholland, 40, went 3-4 with a 4.91 ERA in 45 games. The left-hander made some emergency starts, pitched in long and short relief and helped mentor Cleveland's young pitching staff.

By offering him arbitration before Sunday's midnight deadline, the Indians have until Jan. 8 to agree to terms with Mulholland. He has until Dec. 19 to accept the arbitration offer.

Also Monday, Cleveland claimed left-hander Cliff Bartosh off waivers from the Detroit Tigers.

Bartosh spent last season in San Diego's organization, pitching for Triple-A Portland. The 24-year-old went 2-5 with a 4.29 ERA and 10 saves in 64 games. He limited left-handed hitters to a .208 average.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press