The Phillies and reliever Chad Durbin avoided arbitration and have reportedly agreed on a one-year, $2.125 million deal. The 32-year-old right-hander went 2-2 with a 4.39 ERA (97 ERA+) in 2009.
The Phillies have until noon today to settle on new deals for their three remaining arbitration-eligible players: Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz. If they cannot come to terms, the two sides will exchange salary figures to determine if a February trip to the arbitration table will be scheduled (the two sides may continue to work out a deal until then; this whole process is designed to facilitate and expedite settlement). The Phillies, who avoided arbitration with 11 eligible players last season and have a good track record for avoiding the process, would rather not place their financial commitments in the hands of an arbiter. With payroll commitments already reaching a reported $120 million, the Phillies may be more inclined to lowball the unsigned trio, bearing in mind that this tactic backfired two years ago when the club lost their arbitration case with Ryan Howard, who took home a record $10 million instead of $7.5 million.Duckworth note: Matt Gelb, supplying the Inquirer's Andy Martino with a winter break, says Brandon Duckworth will not be invited to major league spring training, meaning he's viewed as minor league roster fill.