Phils sign Frieri, 4 others to Minor League deals

Right-hander has big league experience as a closer

Phils sign Frieri, 4 others to Minor League deals

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies signed five players to Minor League contracts on Monday, and one of them could pitch in the late innings next season.

Right-handers Ernesto Frieri, Gregory Infante and Greg Burke; catcher J.P. Arencibia; and infielder Angelys Nina will be non-roster invitees to Spring Training. Frieri has closing experience, so he seems like a candidate to pitch in the eighth or ninth inning following the Phils trading Ken Giles to the Astros on Saturday.

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Of course, Frieri, 30, must first earn a spot on the 25-man roster. He went 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA in 22 appearances last season with the Rays. Frieri has a 3.55 ERA in 298 appearances in his career, which includes 73 saves. The Phillies signed right-hander David Hernandez to a one-year, $3.9 million contract last week. Hernandez has some experience as a closer and might be considered the front-runner to close in 2016.

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Burke, 33, is from Marlton, N.J. He spent last season in the Blue Jays' system, posting a 2.63 ERA in 48 appearances with Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo. He has a 4.77 ERA in 80 career appearances in the big leagues, last pitching for the Mets in 2013.

Infante, 28, had a 3.18 ERA in 51 appearances last season with Buffalo and New Hampshire. He made five appearances at the big league level with the White Sox in 2010.

Arencibia, 29, hit .227 with 17 doubles, 22 home runs and 65 RBIs last season with Triple-A Durham, which is part of the Rays' farm system. He posted a .921 OPS in 24 games with Tampa Bay.

Nina, 27, hit .300 with 21 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 18 stolen bases in 114 games during 2015 with Triple-A Albuquerque, which is part of the Rockies' system. He played second base, shortstop, third base and left field.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for 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.