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Phillies sign reliever James Russell to minor-league deal

BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Phillies for the second consecutive week added a reliever to their system.

On Thursday, the final day of the general managers' meetings at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, the Phillies announced that they signed lefthanded reliever James Russell to a minor-league contract. Russell's deal includes an invitation to major-league spring training.

Russell, who turns 30 in January, posted a 5.29 ERA over 34 innings with the Chicago Cubs last season but posted a 2.97 ERA over 572/3 innings the previous year. He has spent most of his six major-league seasons with the Cubs but logged 241/3 innings for the Atlanta Braves in 2014.

The signing of Russell comes nine days after the Phillies claimed righthander Dan Otero, 30, off waivers from the Oakland Athletics.