Indians place reliever Jensen Lewis on waivers

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Jensen Lewis has consistently been one of Cleveland’s best relievers since debuting in mid-2007, posting a 3.68 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 198 innings, but he’s been knocked around in a half-dozen appearances this spring and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians have placed him on waivers.

Lewis is under contract for $650,000, which any team that claims him would also assume, but as far as veteran relievers available in late March go he should be a fairly attractive target.

On the other hand, for a non-contender like the Indians to willingly cut bait on a cheap 27-year-old reliever with a strong track record suggests he did something to fall out of favor in a hurry. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it wasn’t based entirely on his pitching poorly for five innings in exhibition games.

Either way it’ll be interesting to see if Lewis is claimed off waivers like Pat Neshek was by the Padres yesterday after the Twins surprisingly cut him loose.

Manny Machado will visit the Phillies, Yankees next week

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Manny Machado will meet with the Phillies’ brass in Philadelphia next week. George King of the New York Post, meanwhile, says that he may very well meet with the Yankees next week as well, in what is apparently an east coast tour. Beyond those two teams, the White Sox have expressed an interest in Machado and are expected to meet with him as well.

The other big star free agent is Bryce Harper, or course. He reportedly held court in a hotel suite a bit father north up the Las Vegas Strip from the Winter Meetings with his agent, taking meetings from officials from various teams. Proof, I guess, that meetings are not an immediate precursor to a signing.

At this point one wonders if the top two talents on the market will sign before Christmas.