ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Free agent pitcher Dave Burba (pictured, right) agreed Wednesday to a $2 million, one-year contract with the Texas Rangers, who also signed newly acquired reliever John Rocker to a $2.5 million, one-year deal that avoids salary arbitration.
Burba is another player who was with Cleveland under John Hart, who left the Indians after the season and became general manager of the Rangers. Burba spent the last four seasons with Cleveland.
The 35-year-old right-hander was 8-2 after 13 starts last season, then went 2-8 and was demoted to the bullpen. He was coming off a career-best 16 wins in 2000.
Burba, who has won at least 10 games the last seven seasons, became a free agent after the World Series. He has a career record of 105-80 with Seattle, San Francisco, Cincinnati and the Indians.
Rocker, who made $1.9 million last season, was acquired from Cleveland on Tuesday for minor league pitcher David Elder. Rocker's deal is not guaranteed.
Hart has surrounded himself in Texas with at least seven people he knew from his 12 seasons with the Indians. They include Burba, Rocker and infielder Herbert Perry; bench coach Terry Francona; special assistants Dom Chiti and Jay Robertson; and associate Orel Hershiser.
In another move Wednesday, Texas promoted John Lombardo to director of minor league operations. He was assistant to the director of player development the last three years.
(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)