Dellucci to join Indians as everyday left fielder

Updated: November 27, 2006, 11:54 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Promised Cleveland's starting job in left field, free agent David Dellucci has reached preliminary agreement on an $11.5 million, three-year contract with the Indians.

The 33-year-old Dellucci has a physical scheduled for Thursday in Cleveland, and he'll finalize his deal with the Indians if he passes it.

"The key factor there was his role," agent Joe Longo said. "They've given him the left fielder's job. He also felt he wanted to be in a lineup that had a chance to win. He wanted to come back to the American League. That was the best fit."

Dellucci batted .292 with 13 homers and 39 RBI in 132 games for the Philadelphia Phillies last season. Before that, he spent two seasons with Texas and has also played for the New York Yankees, Arizona and Baltimore.

Dellucci hit 29 homers for the Rangers in 2005.

Longo said several teams were in the hunt for Dellucci, a left-handed hitter who has a .263 career average.

"He had a lot of interest," Longo said. "We probably had serious interest from 12 teams. He wanted a three-year guarantee. That was the main thing, the every day job. He really wanted to play every day on a contender."

Dellucci's deal would pay him $3.75 million next season, $3.75 million in 2008 and $4 million in 2009.

If they sign Dellucci, the Indians will have more options in their outfield. Jason Michaels would likely back up Dellucci in left, Shin-Soo Choo could become the everyday starter in right with Casey Blake, a former infielder, moving to first base.

Dellucci can play both corner outfield positions.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press