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Phillies sign backup catcher

Veteran Wil Nieves is signed to back up Carlos Ruiz.

HEADING INTO the offseason, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said catching was a top priority. In the span of 3 weeks, he has signed two free-agent catchers.

After re-signing starter Carlos Ruiz a week before Thanksgiving, Amaro signed a backup for the veteran in the form of Wil Nieves. The 36-year-old Nieves is a career .242 hitter in 10 big-league seasons with the Padres, Yankees, Nationals, Brewers, Rockies and Diamondbacks.

The Phillies signed Nieves to a 1-year deal. Terms were not disclosed, but reported Nieves would make $1.125 million. Nieves made $800,000 with the Diamondbacks last season.

Nieves hit .297 with a .690 OPS in 71 games (41 starts) with the Diamondbacks in 2013.

Nieves takes the backup job from Erik Kratz, who was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday in the deal that brought reliever Brad Lincoln to the Phillies. Kratz hit .228 with 18 home runs and a .726 OPS in 118 games with the Phils in the last two seasons.

In addition to Nieves, the Phillies signed righthanded pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Manship, who turns 29 next month, went 0-5 with a 7.04 ERA in 11 games with the Rockies last season and has a 6.42 ERA in 52 big-league games in 5 years between Colorado and Minnesota.

- Ryan Lawrence