The Phillies could have a couple of new players on their roster before next week.
Baseball sources said yesterday that the Phillies were getting close to contract agreements with two free agents: outfielder Geoff Jenkins and righthander Chad Durbin. Announcements could come this week.
Jenkins reportedly had been deciding between the Phillies and San Diego, but Padres general manager Kevin Towers told reporters Tuesday in San Diego that the club had backed away from Jenkins.
Durbin had been deciding between the Phillies and the Pirates, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported that the Phils have knocked the Bucs out of contention.
The Phillies like Jenkins because he hits lefthanded and can play the corner outfield positions. He also has pop in his bat, which would help lessen the blow of losing Aaron Rowand to San Francisco. If Jenkins agrees to terms, the Phillies could put him in a platoon situation in right field with Jayson Werth and have him spell leftfielder Pat Burrell if Burrell is struggling or needs a rest.
Jenkins hit .255 with 21 home runs and 64 RBIs last season, and has hit .277 with 212 home runs and 704 RBIs in his 10-year career with the Milwaukee Brewers.
If the Phillies agree to terms with Durbin, he could compete for a job in the rotation or bullpen. He made 19 starts and 17 relief appearances last season for the Detroit Tigers.
He went 6-7 with a 4.88 ERA as a starter, and 2-0 with a 4.18 ERA as a relief pitcher. In his eight-year career with Kansas City, Cleveland, Arizona and Detroit, Durbin is 25-37 with a 5.75 ERA.
His potential signing doesn't seem to mean the Phillies have given up on adding another starter, such as free-agent righthander Kris Benson.
A trip to the Pig farm. The day before their season opener at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies will help their triple-A affiliate open its new stadium in Allentown.
The Phils will play an exhibition game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on March 30 at Coca-Cola Park, a $49 million stadium being built on Allentown's east side. The starting time is 2:05 p.m.
The triple-A team played in Ottawa last season.