Throw three more contestants into the Phillies’ bullpen derby.
One week before the first workout for pitchers and catchers, the Phillies signed Anthony Swarzak and Blake Parker to minor-league deals with a non-roster invitations to spring training and claimed Deolis Guerra off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers, the team announced Wednesday.
The right-handers will join a group of relievers who are trying to revive their careers in the Phillies’ bullpen, a land of opportunity this spring. Last month, longtime big leaguers Drew Storen, Bud Norris and Francisco Liriano agreed to minor-league deals with spring-training invites.
Guerra, 30, is the only one of the bunch who has a spot on the 40-man roster. A top prospect with the New York Mets more than a decade ago and part of the Johan Santana trade in 2008, he has made 74 big-league appearances for three teams since 2015, including one last season with the Brewers.
To open a roster spot for Guerra, the Phillies designated reliever J.D. Hammer for assignment. Right-hander Trevor Kelley, who was removed from the 40-man roster last week, cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A with an invitation to big-league camp.
The Phillies would be Swarzak’s ninth team in six years, including a brief stint in Korea in 2015. The 34-year-old split last season between the Mariners and Braves, amassing a 4.56 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 27 walks in 53 1/3 innings. His best season came in 2017, when he had a 2.33 ERA in 70 appearances for the White Sox and Brewers.
If Swarzak makes the team, he would get a $1.5 million salary, plus as much as $1.25 million in incentives based on appearances.
Parker, 35, spent the final two months of last season with the Phillies after getting cut loose by the Twins and posted a 5.04 ERA in 23 appearances.