Chad Durbin returns to the Phillies on a one-year deal, according to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. It's not a minor-league deal, Durbin will earn $1.1 million with up to $350,000 in incentives, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. Durbin's deal also includes a team option for 2013.
Durbin was pretty effective for the Phillies from 2008-10, pitching to a 3.62 ERA in 194 appearances spanning 226 innings. He finished 36 games, saved three and struck out 7.5 batters per nine.
Durbin's second year with the Phils was a struggle because he couldn't throw strikes. He walked 47 batters in 69.2 innings. His BB/9 that year was 6.1, but is 3.7 in the three years since.
Durbin had a 3.10 ERA for the Braves last season in a career-high 76 appearances. He also had a career-low 1.31 WHIP. Righties hit just .206 off him.
Durbin gives the Phillies another right-handed reliever and a versatile bullpen piece. Durbin is a former starter with stamina who has pitched more than one inning in 112 of his 365 relief appearances, or 31%.
Durbin isn't yet on the Phils' 40-man roster, but his salary makes it a safe bet he'll be on the team come Opening Day. The Phillies will likely begin the season with seven relievers, with spots going to Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo, Durbin, Justin De Fratus, and two of Jeremy Horst, Mike Stutes, Michael Schwimer, Jake Diekman, Raul Valdes and Phillippe Aumont. The Phillies have plenty of bullpen depth for a unit that should be much-improved this season.
The Phils also signed infielder Yuniesky Betancourt to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. The butt of many jokes because of his poor plate discipline and defense, but probably also because of his uncommon first name, Betancourt hit .228 with a .400 slugging percentage in 228 plate appearances last season for the Royals.
Betancourt, a shortstop is 94% of his big-league innings, is a career .266 hitter with a .290 OBP and .392 slugging percentage. His best season was 2010 for the Royals, when he hit .259 with 16 homers, 78 RBIs and 29 doubles.
His OPS was still under .700 that year because the man simply doesn't walk much. Betancourt's 3.3% walk rate since 2005 is the lowest in all of baseball. He'll make quick friends with Delmon Young, whose 4.1% walk rate over that span is third-lowest. Invite Jose Lopez to town and it'll be a party.