The Phillies continue to monitor the free-agent market for lefthanded relievers and have kept open lines of communication with Will Ohman, his agent Page Odle said Tuesday.
Odle, reached by the Inquirer, said that the Phillies made an offer last week, though he would not characterize it. It’s possible the offer was for a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. would neither confirm nor deny the offer.
Ohman, 31, was 4-1 with a 3.68 earned-run average in 83 innings for the Braves last season. A six-year veteran, Ohman has a career ERA of 4.16.
Odle said that Ohman turned down the Phils’ offer last week, but quickly made a counterproposal, and the parties communicated as recently as Monday. “Will is interested in playing for the Phillies,” Odle said, adding that Ohman was considering offers from at least three other teams, including the Mets.
With J.C. Romero suspended 50 games for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances, the Phillies are looking for a lefty reliever to temporarily fill Romero’s late-inning role. Scott Eyre, a lefty specialist last season, could assume the late-inning role, or the team could sign a free agent such as Ohman, Joe Beimel or Dennys Reyes (one of those pitchers could also assume Eyre’s role if Eyre were to move to the later innings). The agents for Beimel and Reyes did not return phone calls yesterday.