New CSNPhilly scribe Jim Salisbury adds another strong bullpen possibility to the Phillies’ list: veteran right-hander Danys Baez. [Link]
Salisbury’s source says the Phillies have gone under agreement with a free agent reliever, pending the outcome of a January physical. Reading between the lines, it’s going to be the 32-year-old Cuban native, who, as Salisbury puts it, “has been the name most attached to the Phillies in baseball circles in recent days.” Baez, who was 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA (112 ERA+) in 71 2-3 innings with Baltimore last season, missed the entire '08 season recovering from a partially torn elbow. In eight seasons, he’s 35-49 with a 4.04 ERA and 114 career saves, his last full-time, ninth-inning duty coming in 2005 with the Rays. Since then, he’s settled into a set-up role.
Beerleaguer: Your prototypical, league-average, professional late-inning reliever. He earned $7.17 million last season and I haven’t the foggiest clue what this is going to cost. But it seems like a safe choice and a decent fit for the what the Phillies need, and I think it's a smart call to go with a proven commodity here. He's somewhere in between Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson, which means he's not marquee, but a guy who will inspire a significant amount of trust, possibly even a ninth inning role if Brad Lidge is unable to make it back in time for Opening Day. Looking over the numbers, he was reliable last season, blowing just a pair of saves and finishing the season strong for a lame-duck Orioles club. I guess the one concern is how he'll adjust to Philadelphia, where expectations are obviously much higher than Baltimore or Tampa.