Phillies Sign Left-Handed Reliever Abad
Even though pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Wednesday, the Phillies are still active making moves. While the Phillies are reportedly still pursuing a veteran starting pitcher, the club added to their bullpen depth on Saturday morning. The club signed left-handed reliever Fernando Abad to a minor league contract, reports Craig Mish of Sirius XM Radio.
Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports reports that the deal could be worth $3.1 million if Abad makes the Phillies club. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that there is a mutual option in the deal and that Abad can opt out of the deal by March 22, if the Phillies have not yet added Abad to their major league roster. Abad will compete with lefties Adam Morgan and Hoby Milner for a spot.
After being used as a starter in his career and a long man after being converted to the bullpen, Morgan found his groove and was effective against lefties late in the game. Lefties batted just .193 against Morgan in 2017 . Milner made his major league debut and was rather effective, pitching to a 2.11 earned run average. Lefties batted just .159 against Milner.
Abad was 2-1 with a 3.30 earned run average with the Boston Red Sox in 2016. Of the three pitchers, Abad actually had the lowest WAR (0.5 compared to 0.7 for Morgan and 1.1 for Milner). Abad comes in as a veteran arm, having pitched in 363 career games in eight seasons for the Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox.