Indians bring back pitcher from 1997 World Series team

By PAUL SINGER, Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) - Brian Anderson, who last appeared in a Cleveland uniform during the 1997 World Series, will return to pitch for his hometown team next year.

Anderson and the Indians agreed to a one-year contract, and he figures to fill a spot in the starting rotation.

"It's one thing when the team doesn't have a plan," Anderson said. "But you could see that the plan here was well thought out."

The Indians have said their goal this off-season is to bring in low-cost veteran starting pitchers who can throw a lot of innings and serve as role models.

Anderson, who graduated from Geneva High School in the city's eastern suburbs and still lives in neighboring Bratenahl, played two seasons for the Indians in 1996 and 1997 before being selected first by Arizona in the '97 expansion draft.

Anderson made three relief appearances for the Indians in the 1997 World Series and pitched the last three innings of Game 4 for a save in Cleveland's 10-3 win over Florida.

He also earned the win in the decisive Game 6 of the ALCS in '97, pitching a scoreless 10th inning as Cleveland beat Baltimore 1-0 to advance to the Series.

In 2001, he started Game 3 of the World Series for Arizona, but lost to the Yankees 2-1.

Anderson, 30, has never won more than 12 games in a major league season, and last season posted a 6-11 record for the Diamondbacks, with a 4.79 ERA.

Anderson said he looked forward to being a leader on the staff and pitching in his hometown.

"The money really became secondary," he said.

Anderson pitched more than 200 innings for Arizona in both 1998 and 2000. In 2002, he appeared in 35 games, making 24 starts and logging 156 innings before his season was ended Sept. 21 by a line drive that broke his left foot.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said Anderson's signing fills out the starting rotation.

"He has tremendous work ethic and character and will be a valuable member of our pitching staff in terms of performance and leadership," Shapiro said.

Cleveland also signed catcher A.J. Hinch to a minor league contract Monday.

Hinch, 28, hit .249 in 72 games for Kansas City with seven homers and 27 RBIs.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)