Baseball's off-season enters a new phase at 11:59 p.m. tonight, when teams must decide whether to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. Non-tendered players become free agents at midnight.
Barring an unexpected change, the Phillies will offer arbitration to righthanders Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey and Joe Blanton. Several non-tender candidates could be attractive to the Phils, who are looking for a late-inning reliever and back-of-the-rotation starter.
The possibilities include Washington closer Mike McDougal, who became expendable when the Nationals acquired reliever Brian Bruney from the New York Yankees, and San Diego starter Kevin Correia, expected to be non-tendered.
McDougal, 32, had 20 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 2009. The Phils are seeking a pitcher with experience closing and setting up, and McDougal fits that description. Correia, 29, was 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA last season.
Spring ahead. The Phillies announced yesterday that the following non-roster players have been invited to spring training: outfielder Chris Duffy, catcher Paul Hoover, infielder Cody Ransom, infielder Andy Tracy, outfielder DeWayne Wise, infielder Wilson Valdez, and lefthander Bill White. Barry Meister, the agent for catcher Paul Bako, told The Inquirer that Bako would decline the Phils' open invitation to attend spring training on a minor-league deal. Bako, 37, is seeking the chance to compete for a major league job.