As Major League Baseball’s hibernation enters a third week, teams continue to address minor-league needs.
The Phillies on Tuesday announced the signings of six pitchers to minor-league contracts. All six have been invited to big-league spring training camp, which is scheduled to begin in mid-February, provided MLB owners and the Players Association have solved their labor issues by then.
Owners ordered a lockout when the labor agreement between the two sides expired on December 1. Teams are prohibited from doing any major-league business – signings, trades, etc. – during the lockout.
The Phils were able to sign reliever Corey Knebel to a one-year, $10 million contract before the lockout was called. He is expected to be their closer.
The team, looking for some surprises to emerge in the bullpen, continued to add relief pitching with its minor-league moves Tuesday.
The most recognizable name on the list is right-handed reliever Cam Bedrosian, who pitched in 11 games with the Phillies in 2021. Bedrosian, 30, spent seven seasons with the Angels and also pitched with the A’s and Reds last season.
Bedrosian ended the 2021 season with the Phillies and was removed from the 40-man roster shortly after. Though he has more than six years of big-league service time, enough to qualify for major-league free-agency, he agreed to his minor-league deal before the lockout.
The rest of the list includes Andrew Bellatti, Tyler Cyr, Joe Gatto, Michael Kelly and Jake Newberry. All are right-handed relievers.
Bellatti, 30, has pitched in the majors with Tampa Bay and Miami and Newberry, 27, parts of four seasons with Kansas City.
Gatto, 26, is a local guy who pitched at St. Augustine Prep in South Jersey. He was a second-round pick of the Angels in 2014. He pitched in the Texas organization last season and had a 3.32 ERA in 35 games at the Double A and Triple A levels.