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The Phillies signed veteran lefty reliever James Russell to a minor league deal

One of the main tasks for the Phillies will be to rebuild their beleaguered bullpen. The first move for that task came with the signing of veteran left-hander James Russell to a minor league deal.

The Phillies are hoping that a minor league signing can turn into a major league reliever to help their bullpen. James Russell spent most of his career with the Chicago Cubs, before being dealt to Atlanta at the 2014 trade deadline. He re-signed with the Cubs last spring after being released by Atlanta during spring training.

The Phillies hope that the lefty can return to form after posting a 5.29 ERA in 49 relief appearances with the Cubs in 2015. Coming into last season, Russell had a career 3.74 ERA in 332 relief appearances and six starts.

Russell, who will be 30 when the 2016 season starts, will be in camp with the Phillies in spring training, hoping to win a spot in a bullpen that figures to have a number of new faces. The Phillies have also signed reliever Dan Otero this offseason.


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