Indians eyeing lefty relief

The Indians continue to hunt for left-handed relief help for their bullpen.

One possible fit is Giants lefty Javier Lopez, who played under Indians manager Terry Francona during their days with the Red Sox. The 36-year-old southpaw is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, making him a likely target for Cleveland. The Indians had a scout following San Francisco earlier this month.

The Indians declined comment on potential interest in the reliever.

In 45 appearances, Lopez has posted a 1.42 ERA for the Giants. He has held left-handed hitters to a .172 average (.466 OPS) in 71 plate appearances, compared to a .281 (.712) mark in 40 plate appearances vs. right-handed batters.

Entering Monday, Cleveland’s left-handed relievers had combined for a 6.54 ERA and 1.48 WHIP on the season.

The New York Post reported that Cleveland has had talks with Colorado about lefty reliever Josh Outman, who has limited lefty hitters to a .224 average and .576 OPS, to go along with a 7.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio, through 84 plate appearances this season.

The Indians may have been looking at veteran lefty Scott Downs, but the Braves acquired him from the Angels on Monday in exchange for reliever Cory Rasmus.

–JB

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