It's been a frigid holiday weekend in Philadelphia, but the Phillies kept the hot stove lukewarm with a pair of reported signings, including veteran reliever Danys Baez.
We've talked about Baez all week, so let's start with minor league journeyman Tagg Bozied, a non-prospect with an unfortunate past. Bozied, a slugging first baseman who once rated as Baseball America's fourth-best prospect in the Padres' chain, ruptured his patella tendon in his left knee while celebrating a walk-off grand slam midway through a breakout season in 2004 (.315/.374/.629, 16 homers in 239 plate appearances for Triple-A Portland of the hitter-friendly PCL). He attempted a comeback the next season, but it was cut short with back and knee problems stemming from ruptured tendon. Blocked out of a clear spot with San Diego anyway, he was cut lose after 2005 and spent the next three seasons with the Mets, Cardinals, Marlins, never making it out of Triple-A. A non-roster invitee with Oakland last spring, he signed on with the Brother Elephants of the CPBL to start 2009, but was released mid-season and latched on with Indianapolis (AAA Pittsburgh), where he hit .288/.360/.477 in 240 plate appearances, seeing time in the infield and outfield corners.
Bozied, who led NCAA Division I with a .936 slugging percentage in 1999 and would eventually become San Diego's third-round pick, will likely become the right-handed cleanup complement to Andy Tracy, taking over for the departed Mike Cervenak, in what is shaping up to be another mess in Lehigh Valley. It would take a barrage of devastating injuries for Bozied to reach Philadelphia.
On to Baez. I've read the expression "low risk/high reward" with this one, but from every indication, the Phils are guaranteeing two years to an average back-end reliever. His injury issues are in the rearview, so I think the Phils will be getting average results at a fair cost, and I think it was a smart play to add veteran certainty to the team's biggest weakness.