Report: Phils working out Gagne today

His last days as a lights-out closer came in the first half of 2007. He spent last season as a starting pitcher for a team in the independent Can-Am League.

But Eric Gagne has expressed a desire to return to the major leagues. And, according to a report out of Quebec, the Phillies will at least give him a look-see.

Gagne told a French-Canadian radio station yesterday that he will work out for Phillies scouts Wednesday afternoon in Arizona. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. could not be reached for comment.

Gagne, 34, saved 161 games while posting a 1.82 ERA and striking out an average of 13.4 batters per nine innings for the Dodgers from 2002-2006. During that five-year stretch, he was one of the most dominant closers in the league, allowing a meager 0.827 walks and hits per inning in 240 appearances.

But after saving 16 games and posting a 2.16 ERA for the Rangers in the first half of 2007, Gagne was traded to Boston and struggled, allowing 14 runs in 18 2/3 innings.

He last pitched in the majors in 2008, when he posted a 5.44 ERA in 50 appearances for the Brewers. He struggled early that season, but posted a 3.52 ERA and held opposing batters to a .205 average in 26 appearances after the All-Star Break. He spent last season as a starter in the Can-Am League, posting a 4.65 ERA in 102 2/3 innings.

"I'm very excited to have this chance," Gagne told CKAC sports in a French-language interview. "There are many players that I know well on that team, including outfielder Jayson Werth."

Werth and Gagne were teammates on the Dodgers.

Gagne told reporters earlier this offseason that he would be willing to accept a non-guaranteed minor league deal, while the Phillies are on the look-out for low-risk, high-reward veterans who might provide some much-needed depth for a bullpen that could open the season without closer Brad Lidge and lefthander J.C. Romero.