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Indians sign fifth-rounder, three others

Indians sign fifth-rounder, three others

CLEVELAND -- Twenty-six down, one big signing to go.

The Indians signed their fifth-round selection from the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, right-handed pitcher Zach Putnam, on Thursday -- just one day before the Major League deadline to sign 2008 Draft picks.

With Putnam's signing, the Indians have now locked up 14 of their top 15 Draft selections. Second-round selection Curtis Haley, also a right-handed pitcher, has yet to sign. As a whole, the Tribe has signed 26 of its 50 draft picks.

Putnam went 9-0 in his 2007 junior season at the University of Michigan -- the third-best single-season performance in school history -- compiling a 2.58 ERA in 12 starts. Over a stretch of three starts, the 21-year-old picked up 10-plus strikeouts each time out, including back-to-back outings where he picked up 12.

He was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and came in to the 2008 Draft ranked as the 50th best overall prospect by Baseball America. Lifetime, Putnam was 23-7 with a 3.12 ERA at Michigan.

Putnam will report to Class A Mahoning Valley.

The Tribe also locked up catcher Roberto Perez (33rd round), right-hander Edwin Burns (39th) and outfielder Tim Palincsar (40th) with deals Thursday.

Andrew Gribble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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