On the morning of the first official workout for Phillies pitchers and catchers, the team announced a new contract for Seranthony Dominguez, who had been their lone unsigned player eligible for arbitration.
The Phils signed Dominguez to a two-year deal with a club option for 2025. He’s guaranteed $7.25 million in the form of a $2.5 million salary in 2023 and $4.25 million in 2024 with a $500,000 buyout attached to the $8 million club option, per MLBTradeRumors. The new contract buys out Dominguez' final two years of salary arbitration.
Dominguez had the second breakout season of his career in 2022, rebounding from three seasons mostly lost to injury to again become the Phillies' most dynamic and reliable reliever. In 51 innings, he pitched to a 3.00 ERA with 61 strikeouts and a .197 opponents' batting average.
He was even better in the postseason, allowing just two runs in 10⅔ innings. His first five playoff appearances were scoreless and he picked up five huge outs to earn a win in Game 1 of the World Series in Houston.
The 28-year-old Dominguez enters 2023 in the mix to close games for the Phillies. He saved nine last season and 16 as a rookie. The Phils have built a deep bullpen that includes plenty of late-inning options in Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto, Matt Strahm, Andrew Bellatti and Connor Brogdon. Manager Rob Thomson likely won't name a closer unless someone seizes the job in camp or early in the regular season, instead playing matchups and the hot hand.
Dominguez is quite a success story for the Phillies' international scouting department. They signed him out of his native Dominican Republic for just $25,000 in October 2011. Seven years later, he debuted in the majors and made an immediate impact for the Phillies. The next season, 2019, he didn't look the same and was shut down after 27 appearances with an elbow injury. He tried to avoid surgery but suffered a setback in spring training 2020 and COVID-19 protocols prevented him from having surgery until July of that year. He didn't pitch again in the majors until Game 162 in 2021. He excited Phillies officials last spring and quickly showed he was back to the old Seranthony, with his four-seam fastball (97.8 mph) and sinker (98.3 mph) both playing up to his career averages.