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Baez, Phillies agree to two-year deal

Baez, Phillies agree to two-year deal

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have added closing experience to the back of their bullpen.

Sources said on Thursday that Philadelphia had agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Danys Baez, pending a physical. That physical is expected next week.

Baez, 32, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He has 114 career saves, including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005. He was 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 appearances with the Orioles in '08.

The Phillies have been looking for bullpen help since the 2009 season ended. Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin are the only locks for the 2010 bullpen, but both Lidge and Romero are recovering from elbow surgeries. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance they might not be ready to start the season.

Baez's arrival at least gives Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel, who managed Baez in Cleveland from 2001-02, another ninth-inning option should Lidge not be ready.

Baez's arrival also means free-agent right-hander Chan Ho Park will not be back.

Amaro, who has been unavailable for comment, said recently that once the Phillies sign a free-agent reliever they might have youngsters like Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona take the remaining jobs in the bullpen.

The Phillies have been interested in bringing back left-hander Scott Eyre, but a source said the Phillies have offered him only a Minor League contract and have held firm in their offer. Eyre, who was 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 appearances since he arrived in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in August 2008, made $2 million last season.

If everybody is healthy to start the season, the bullpen would include Lidge, Madson, Romero, Baez and Durbin, with two remaining jobs.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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