LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Phillies reached an agreement last night with veteran lefthander Dennys Reyes, pending a physical, for a 1-year contract worth $1.1 million, with a $1.35 million club option for 2012, with various performances bonuses, according to a baseball source with knowledge of the situation.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did not return a call requesting comment.
Earlier in the day, Amaro said the team was not close to signing any free agents.
Another source said that the 1-year, $1.25 million contract George Sherrill signed with the Braves earlier in the day provided an additional framework for Reyes' people to operate from.
"I think we've laid some pretty good groundwork, that we have a decent shot at it," he said. "We're still hopeful."
Reyes, who turns 34 in April, has spent the last two seasons as a lefty specialist for the Cardinals. He finished 2010 with the second-worst strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career, fanning 25 and walking 21 in 38 innings over 59 appearances. He also had some difficulty against lefthanded hitters, allowing them to hit .307 with a .409 on-base percentage and .453 slugging percentage in 88 plate appearances (he held righties to a .177/.288/.194 line in 75 plate appearances). His numbers against lefties were much better in 2008 (.202/.250/.287) and 2009 (.207/.288/.228). Over the last five seasons, he has averaged 65 appearances with a 2.63 ERA.
The Phillies also have not closed the door on re-signing righthander Chad Durbin, a workhorse for the team over the last three seasons. Durbin, who happens to be in town, dropped by the winter meetings yesterday and met with Amaro and assistant GM Scott Proefrock. According to a person with knowledge of the discussions, both sides are optimistic a deal will get done.
"We are keeping the lines of communication open," Amaro said.
One player who does not interest the Phillies is righthander Chan Ho Park, who performed well for them in 2009 before signing as a free agent with the Yankees.
There appeared to be less progress toward filling the club's other pressing offseason need. Two righthanded-hitting outfielders who interested the Phillies, Matt Diaz and Jeff Francoeur, will go elsewhere. Francoeur told an Atlanta television station he "came close" to signing with the Phillies before ultimately signing a 1-year deal with a club option to play for the Royals (the deal, according to the Kansas City Star, carries a base salary of $2.5 million). Diaz reportedly will sign with the Pirates.
Another available righthanded-hitting outfielder is Magglio Ordonez, who agent Scott Boras said yesterday has drawn interest from teams that lost out on the Jayson Werth sweepstakes. Ordonez, who will turn 37 in January, has started regularly in rightfield for the Tigers since 2005. In 2010, he hit .303 with a .378 on-base percentage, .474 slugging percentage and 12 home runs in 84 games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
Boras told reporters Ordonez held a workout yesterday, but Amaro said the Phillies were not present. The Phillies likely would have interest in Ordonez at the right price, but not at the $9 million to $10 million per year some media reports have said Boras wants.
Another name that has produced speculation at these winter meetings is former Phillies centerfielder Aaron Rowand, who finished last year playing a bench role for the Giants. Rowand has 2 years and $24 million remaining on the 5-year, $60 million contract he signed after his monster year for the Phillies in 2007. But Giants general manager Brian Sabean shot that rumor down, saying nothing has gone one between the clubs regarding Rowand.
A deal appears unlikely with Royals ace Zack Greinke. A baseball source said there have not been any substantive talks between the Phillies and Royals about a trade.
The Phillies, as they have almost since the day they traded him away, are keeping an eye on veteran lefty Cliff Lee, but have abandoned most hope of re-signing him. The Yankees made an offer yesterday.
Amaro downplayed the likelihood of the Phillies' landing such a player. But he did not completely rule it out.
"I will tell you that we have examined and tried and talked about acquiring significant players," Amaro said.
"Doing trades is tough. Outfielders, pitchers, starters, relievers. We've done some things where we've tried to shoot kind of for the moon. We've laid some groundwork on some of those. The possibilities of that happening are kind of remote." *
For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read David Murphy's blog, High Cheese, at http://go.philly.com/highcheese. Follow him on Twitter at