01/23/10 3:12 PM EST
Contreras, Phillies said to have deal
Veteran right-hander pitched for White Sox, Rockies in 2009
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
According to CSNPhilly.com, the contract is worth "about $1 million."
Reached via phone by MLB.com, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he could not confirm that a deal is in place, but the two sides appear close to finalizing an agreement.
"We have had discussions with his agent," Amaro said, "and we are working on some things."
Contreras' agent, Jaime Torres, could not be reached for comment.
The 38-year-old, who made $10 million in 2009, would seemingly be expected to fill the role vacated by Chan Ho Park -- a long reliever and spot starter. Contreras made $10 million in 2009 but likely didn't land anything close to that with the Phils.
The question now is how the seven-year starter will adapt to the bullpen. Only 16 of Contreras' 191 career appearances have come in relief, and only two of those came between 2004 and 2008. But this past season he was impressive out of the 'pen during the Rockies' run to the playoffs, when he posted a 1.59 ERA and struck out 17 batters in 17 innings spanning seven games (five in relief).
The 6-foot-4 Contreras went a combined 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA in 28 games (23 starts) for the White Sox and Rockies in 2009, striking out 106 and walking 53 in 131 2/3 innings.
If the deal becomes official -- it's still pending a physical, according to ESPNDeportes.com -- Contreras would join offseason acquisition and fellow Cuban defector Danys Baez. In 2003, Contreras was signed by the Yankees to a four-year, $32 million contract. He then went on to help the White Sox win the World Series during his best pro season, 2005, when he finished the regular season 15-7 with a 3.61 ERA.
For his career, Contreras is 71-63 with a 4.61 ERA.
The Phillies are in need of bullpen help, with closer Brad Lidge (elbow and knee surgeries) and lefty J.C. Romero (elbow surgery) likely to be on the shelf come Opening Day. Either Jamie Moyer or Kyle Kendrick will likely be the fifth starter.
Amaro has been looking for low-risk options that could give him depth and quality innings out of the bullpen, and his club recently scouted Eric Gagne in Arizona -- though Amaro downplayed the club's interest.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.