Phils ink reliever Russell to Minor League deal

Phils ink reliever Russell to Minor League deal

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has said repeatedly that he wants to acquire as much pitching depth as possible this offseason.

He added another name to the list Thursday, when the Phillies announced they signed left-handed relief pitcher James Russell to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

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Russell, 29, went 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA and one save in 49 appearances this past season with the Cubs. He posted a combined 3.26 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 217 appearances from 2012-14. The Phillies likely view him as a bounce-back candidate, much like right-hander Dan Otero, whom they claimed off waivers from the A's earlier this month.

Russell, like Otero, is one year removed from a quality season. Russell posted a career-best 2.97 ERA in 66 appearances with the Cubs and Braves in 2014.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.