Phillies sign INF Ryan Flaherty to compete for bench role

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 24: Ryan Flaherty
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 24: Ryan Flaherty /

Another veteran is joining the Phillies to compete in spring training

Infielder Ryan Flaherty has been signed by the Phillies to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, according to Jerry Crasnick.

Drafted in the first-round of the 2008 Amateur Draft out of Vanderbilt by the Chicago Cubs, Flaherty has played every position except catcher and center field at the major league level. He’ll compete with Pedro Florimon, Will Middlebrooks, and Adam Rosales for a spot on the major league roster as a utility player with a left-handed bat.

Veteran Andres Blanco was not retained by the club going into the offseason, and signed with the San Francisco Giants.

Phillies President Andy MacPhail was with the Orioles when Flaherty was picked in the Rule 5 Draft out of the Cubs farm system in 2011. Playing his entire career with Baltimore over six seasons Flaherty is a career .215 hitter in 452 games.

Flaherty appeared in just 23 games last season and was hindered by tendinitis in his right shoulder, forcing him onto the 60-day disabled list.

It certainly isn’t the flashiest signing of the offseason by general manager Matt Klentak, but this provides much-needed infield depth. His versatility gives him a leg up on Middlebrooks, but his bat off the bench will be a major knock.

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Flaherty is the second player signed by the Phillies this offseason with connections to Klentak, MacPhail and the Orioles. Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta could potentially be the third as Klentak continues to pursue a veteran starting pitcher.