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Reliever Ernesto Frieri signed a minor league deal with the Phillies to compete for a bullpen job in 2016

Having reportedly dealt closer Ken Giles to Houston, the Phillies made a move to add another potential closer for the upcoming season. Ernesto Frieri, who saved 37 games for the Angels in 2013 signed a minor league deal with the Phillies and will compete in spring training.

Ernesto Frieri has likely closed more games than most fans may realize. Over seven major league seasons, Frieri has saved 73 games, including 71 with the Angels from 2012-2014 and two more games with the Tampa Bay Rays last season. He's also pitched in the majors for San Diego and Pittsburgh, compiling 298 relief appearances with a 3.55 ERA and an 11-13 record.

Even with his overall career numbers, Frieri is a reclamation project who has posted a combined 6.37 ERA with the Angels, Pirates and Rays over the past two seasons. Frieri has always struggled with somewhat high walk totals, but always had big strikeout numbers to help offset the walks. The past couple seasons, the strikeout numbers have dropped, while the walk numbers have remained high. At the height of his career, the 30-year old was throwing around 94 miles per hour, but saw his velocity dip to the lower-90s last season with Tampa Bay.

Frieri had initially re-signed with Tampa Bay for $800-thousand, but was designated for assignment last week and elected to become a free agent.

The Phillies are likely to have open tryouts in spring training for their closer's job, with incumbent closer Ken Giles reportedly having been dealt to the Houston Astros for four prospects. Frieri will likely be joined by reliever David Hernandez and others in attempting to become the Phillies closer out of spring training.


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