Source: Schneider deal is close

Brian Schneider is close to signing a one-year deal to return to the Phillies, according to a source. (Associated Press)

MILWAUKEE — The Phillies will choose familiarity for their backup catcher.

The team is finalizing a one-year agreement with Brian Schneider, the Northampton native who has spent the previous two seasons behind Carlos Ruiz. One baseball source said the deal was close, but probably would not be completed until Thursday.

Schneider had the worst offensive season of his 12-year career in 2011, but the Phillies value his defensive capabilities. The pitching staff praises Ruiz for his knowledge and devotion to calling games, but most found there was little drop off when Schneider caught.

His work with Vance Worley was especially noteworthy. Schneider became the rookie's personal catcher. Worley cited a strong relationship with Schneider as a major part in his success.

Schneider, who turns 35 later this month, made $1.625 million in 2011. He could sign for less in 2012.

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