Phillies sign veteran reliever Anthony Swarzak to minor league deal
The Phillies continue to pile up veterans on minor league deals
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has inked another veteran to a minor league deal, this time signing veteran right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the deal is worth $1.5 million if he makes their 26-man roster with $1.25 million in incentives, a relatively hefty deal for a player like Swarzak and for a team on the brink of hitting the luxury tax.
Swarzak is a classic journeyman player, appearing on eight teams in six years with a career ERA of 4.32 in 375 games. He’s primarily appeared as a middle reliever with only 10 career saves in 10 seasons with the Twins, Indians, Yankees, Mets, Braves, Mariners, White Sox and Brewers.
Philadelphia can only carry 13 relievers on their 26 man roster this season, and Swarzak will be one of many veterans fighting for that last spot in spring training. Earlier this offseason the team signed Bud Norris, Francisco Liriano and Drew Storen to similar minor league deals with the opportunity to break out of Clearwater with a big league job.
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Right now the only guaranteed jobs in the Phillies bullpen appear to belong to Hector Neris, Jose Alvarez, and Ranger Suarez. Seranthony Dominguez and Adam Morgan need to prove they’re healthy, and young arms like Victor Arano, J.D. Hammer, Enyel De Los Santos, and Cole Irvin need to have strong spring trainings to make the big league roster.
The Phillies rush on veterans hasn’t been limited to the bullpen. Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Logan Forsythe, Phil Gosselin, and Ronald Torreyes will all have opportunities to fill out the bench on opening day, something the team hasn’t done well under Klentak.
Look for Philadelphia to target another outfielder such as Kevin Pillar or another backup catcher to compete with Andrew Knapp for the backup role or a potential third catcher job with the expanded roster.