Burba Back With Indians

CLEVELAND (AP) - Pitcher Dave Burba, who won 15 or more games for Cleveland in three straight seasons, signed a minor league contract with the Indians on Wednesday.

Burba, 36, struggled with Texas this season and was released by the Rangers last week. He was 4-5 with a 5.42 ERA and allowed 125 hits in 111 innings.

Burba was to throw a bullpen session Wednesday in Jacobs Field before joining the Double-A Akron Aeros on Friday.

The Indians originally obtained Burba from Cincinnati the day before the 1998 season opener for first baseman Sean Casey.

Burba won 15 games in both 1998 and 1999, helping Cleveland win the AL Central each year. He won 16 games in 2000 as the Indians missed the playoffs.

Burba, who pitched three seasons at Ohio State, didn't want to

leave Cleveland after last season, but the Indians declined to renew his option after he went 10-10 with a 6.21 ERA. He began the season in the starting rotation but was moved to the bullpen.

Burba followed former Indians general manager John Hart to Texas this season, signing a $2 million, one-year deal in December. He has a 109-86 career record with a 4.52 ERA in 431 games.

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