Kamieniecki, 35, agreed to a two-year deal Thursday

By M.R. Kropko Associated Press Published:

Kamieniecki, 35, agreed to a two-year deal Thursday with an option for 2002. The first two years are worth about $3.8 million. If the option year is picked up, the deal is worth about $5.5 million through three years.

Last season with the Orioles, Kamieniecki was 2-4 with a 4.95 earned run average and two saves in 43 games. In his major league career with Baltimore and the New York Yankees, the right-hander is 50-55 with a 4.45 ERA.

"He will add depth to the middle part of our bullpen, which is currently an area of need for the 2000 club," said John Hart, the Indians general manager.

Philadelphia signed Jackson to a $3 million, one-year contract Wednesday, but with performance bonuses and possible extensions he could get $14.25 million over three years.

Jackson had 39 saves in 43 chances last season _ the third-highest percentage in the American League. He was 3-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 72 games.

The Jackson signing left the Indians without a proven closer. With the addition of Kamieniecki, Cleveland may try last season's setup relievers Paul Shuey or Steve Karsay in the closer role.

Kamieniecki, whose lives in Goodrich, Mich., said Thursday he had several solid offers, but chose the Indians because Cleveland is close to Michigan, he can continue to play in the American League and he believes the Indians will again be a contender.

"I know around baseball they are respected. With the runs they put up, they are a very dangerous team," he said.

He has been both a starter and reliever during his career. He said Hart wants to use him just in the bullpen.

"At this point of my career, being able to fill a role is well suited for me," Kamieniecki said. "When you come into a ballgame like I did last year, the situation dictates you have to get that first guy out. You have to throw strikes. I stayed sharper. That goes hand in hand with pitching maybe three times a week."

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