What does a guy need to do to earn some respect? Being one of the best relievers in the National League wasn’t enough for right-hander Geoff Geary, whose signing went largely unnoticed.
Typically, I can count on a nice, prepared news release from Phillies.com when a player signs a new deal, including stock quotes from assistant GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. After all, even Anderson Garcia, a lowly waiver claim, earned several graphs under company letterhead when the Phils signed him back on Jan. 5. In all likelihood, you may see him pitch once or twice in spring training and never see him again, unless you’re planning a trip to Ottawa.
But Geoff Geary is hardly replacement level. They’d be in big trouble without him. All he did last season was exceed expectations and become the most dependable pitcher out of the bullpen. On Tuesday, Geary and the Phils avoided arbitration and agreed on a 1-year, $837,500 deal, several thousand less than what Ryan Madson, a player of better pedigree, received earlier. Geary had been asking for over $900,000, but the two sides settled somewhere in the middle.
Geary led the team with 81 appearances, tied for 5th most in the NL, and went 7-1 with a 2.96 ERA. In four seasons, the 30-year-old former 15th-round pick is 10-2 with a 3.78 ERA in 159 appearances, quietly becoming one of the best home-grown relievers of the last decade.