The Phillies have signed veteran right-handed starting pitcher Aaron Cook. It’s a minor-league deal that would be worth $1.625 million at the major-league level.
Cook, a 33-year-old sinkerballer, made 18 very poor starts for the Red Sox last season. He was 4-11 with a 5.65 ERA, and had more walks (21) than strikeouts (20) in 94 innings.
Cook has never been a strikeout pitcher, but his rate of 1.91 strikeouts per nine innings last season was the second-lowest mark of any pitcher since 1954.
The prime of Cook’s career came from 2006-09 with the Rockies. He was an All-Star in 2008, when he went 16-9 with a 3.96 ERA and had twice as many strikeouts as walks.
Cook can be effective when he keeps the ball on the ground. He threw his sinker 73 percent of the time last year, generating a ground ball on 58.6 percent of his balls in play. For his career, that percentage is 57.5. For reference, that’s about three percent higher than Roy Halladay’s career average.
Cook is the Phillies’ second reported minor-league signing in as many days. CBS Sports reported Tuesday night that the team invited righty reliever Juan Cruz to spring training.