The Phillies lost 16 games last season that they had led in the 7th inning or later in 2012.
Despite signing Jonthan Papelbon to the richest contract for a reliever in baseball history, the rest of the bullpen was a collection of not-ready-for-prime time pitchers. A combination of injuries and ineffectiveness among the relievers was as big of an issue as any other for the Phillies.
On Monday morning, the Phils front office added its second veteran arm this winter to the beleaguered, mostly-green bullpen.
The Phils have reunited with veteran righthander Chad Durbin on a one-year contract that includes a team option for 2014. The deal was first reported by MLB.com.
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According to ESPN.com, Durbin will make a guaranteed $1.1 million in 2013 and can earn an additional $300,000 in incentives.
Durbin, now 35, first joined the Phillies prior to the 2008 season. He was a vital cog in the team’s bullpen during their championship run that season and went 11-7 with a 3.62 ERA in 194 games with the Phils from 2008-10.
Durbin spent the last two seasons with Cleveland and Atlanta. He was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 76 games with the Braves last season, striking out 49 while walking 28 in 61 innings.
Durbin is the second veteran reliever signed by GM Ruben Amaro Jr. this offseason, joining setup man Mike Adams. Adams and Durbin join a pen with Papelbon and lefty Antonio Bastardo.
The aforementioned collection of youngsters, led by Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus, Mike Stutes and Jeremy Horst, figure to compete for the final three spots in the pen this spring.
Durbin's deal with the Phillies is pending a physical.