Brian Sanches, 33, became a bullpen fixture with the Marlins following brief stops with the Phillies and Nationals. The Phils have officially invited the right-handed reliever, along with seven others, to spring training.
Beerleaguer: Well you know I'm stoked since Sanches generated two million comments when the Phils' bullpen scuffled through 2006 and 2007. And it's always an exciting time of year when the Phillies release their first set of invitees. You've read about six of them already: Kevin Frandsen, Pat Misch, Pete Orr, Scott Podsednik, Raul Valdes, and you know enough about organizational fixture Tuffy Gosewisch, who was also invited.
Sanches, who was heading into his first season of arbitration eligibility, reached the point where he would have been too expensive for the Marlins to keep. Caught in between, he was outrighted to the minors on Oct. 5 and refused the assignment, becoming a free agent.
It's kind of a bigger signing since we're talking about a guy who has shown he can hold his own in a middle inning role. Since his days in the Phillies' farm system and a couple cups of coffee with the Phils (2004-07), he's carved out a decent niche with the Marlins, appearing in 147 games and posting a 3.58 ERA and 10-5 mark, with a 199/119 K/BB ratio in 228 2-3 innings. His best year was 2010, where he went 2-2 with a 2.26 ERA (184 ERA+).
He's a fastball/change-up guy with spotty command who will hit 90 on the gun. I'd expect Sanches to last until the final set of spring training cuts alongside guys like Justin De Fratus and Michael Schwimer. At worst, Sanches is at-the-ready depth.
Elarton signs: Veteran right-hander Scott Elarton, 35 represents the Phillies' other notable addition and he is your classic Phillies reclamation project. A former first-round pick, he hasn't been to the show since 2008 because of major shoulder problems. Jim Salisbury has all the details on Elarton here.