The Phillies apparently will have two of the first five picks from the 1997 baseball draft in minor league camp at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater this spring.
Righthanded reliever Jason Grilli, chosen fourth overall by the Giants, wrote on Twitter yesterday that he has agreed to terms with the Phillies. The team had previously signed rigthhander Matt Anderson, the first overall pick by Detroit.
“This Italian Stallion is FIRED UP about the City of Brotherly Love! Balboa workouts paid off and READY TO GO!!!” Grilli tweeted.
Neither pitcher has received an invitation to big-league camp.
The 34-year-old Grilli missed all of last season with a knee injury. He’s 18-18 with a 4.74 earned run average in an 8-year career with the Marlins, White Sox, Tigers, Rockies and Rangers.
His best year was 2008, when he had a 3.00 combined ERA for Detroit and Colorado. In 2009, he had a 5.32 ERA for Colorado and Texas and signed as a minor league free agent with the Indians before last season.
Anderson, also 34 and righthanded, has not pitched in the big leagues since 2005 with the Rockies and he has not pitched in affiliated baseball since a stint with Triple A Charlotte in the White Sox system in 2008. His career record in seven seasons is 15-7 with a 5.19 ERA.
Neither pitcher is guaranteed a job after camp breaks. First, each must prove he’s healthy and effective. The Phillies appear to have one or two openings in the big-league bullpen going into spring training. If one or both show enough to survive spring training and don’t make the Opening Day roster, they would likely land at Triple A Lehigh Valley as bullpen depth.