The Philadelphia Phillies have added another pitcher to their staff, signing Danys Baez to a two-year contract pending a physical.
The 32 year old Baez missed all of the 2008 season due to tightness in the elbow which required Tommy John surgery, yet he returned in 2009 and went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. Baez has 114 career saves including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005.
The Phillies have been desperate for bullpen help ever since the 2009 season came to an end. With both Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero recovering from elbow surgeries, Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance that the two pitchers might not be able to start the season.
Baez’s arrival means that skipper Charlie Manuel has another ninth inning option just in case Lidge isn’t ready. His arrival also means that free agent right hander Chan Ho Park will not be back next season. If everybody remains healthy to kick off the 2010 season, the bullpen would include Lidge, Madson, Romero, Baez and Durbin with two other pitching jobs open.
For the second straight off-season the Cubs have signed another outfielder from the Texas Rangers this time free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd for three years and $15 million. Byrd will be paid $3 million in 2010, $5.5 million in 2011 and $6.5 million in 2012 in a backloaded deal.
Last season with the Rangers Byrd, 32, batted .283 and set personal highs with 20 homers and 89 RBIs.
Kosuke Fukudome had switched from right to center to make room for Milton Bradley, but he will now return to right field since Bradley has been traded to the Seattle Mariners after a chaotic year in Chicago, which ended with a 15-game suspension.
With the signing of Byrd the Cubs become very right handed, but Cubs management pointed out that in 2007 they won 97 games and the National League Central with the same set up.
This is an extremely positive move for the Cubs who have finally signed a free agent outfielder who will play the game it should be played, and bring drama-less talent as well. Look for the Cubs to be contenders this year.