The Phillies have confirmed the signing of Jose Contreras to a 2-year deal with a club option for 2013. He is guaranteed to make $5.5 million and could potentially add with performance bonuses.
"Jose was as consistent a reliever as we had last year," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. "We were pleasantly surprised by his durability since it was his first full year in a relief role. Jose has fit in extremely well in our clubhouse and he is a quality, back-end of the bullpen pitcher who showed versatility in a variety of roles in 2010. We're pleased to have him on board for the next couple of years."
In his major league career, Contreras is 77-67 with four saves and a 4.55 ERA in 258 games (175 starts) for the New York Yankees (2003-04), Chicago White Sox (2004-09), Colorado Rockies (2009) and Phillies (2010). In 18 career playoff games (four starts), the right-hander is 4-3 with a 3.49 ERA.
According to an ESPNDeportes report, the Phillies are close to a two-year, $5 million deal with veteran righthander Jose Contreras.
The report indicates the contract would include numerous incentives and an option for a third year.
Signing Contreras would seem to leave the Phillies with a veteran left-handed reliever as their top free agent priority in the bullpen. One name that has surfaced as a potential addition is Mets lefty Hisanori Takahashi, who excelled in relief last season and can also fill-in as a starter.
Blue Jays lefty Scott Downs is probably the biggest name on the market, but he is a Type A Free agent, which means a team could have to forfeit a draft pick if they sign him.
Contreras, who turns 39 in December, thrived in his first full season as a reliever, going 6-4 with a 3.35 ERA with 57 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 56 2/3 innings. He saved four games during a brief stint as the Phils' closer during the spring when Brad Lidge was on the disabled list.