PHILADELPHIA — Looking to fortify their bullpen, the Philadelphia Phillies turned to a familiar face.
A person familiar with the deals says the Phillies have agreed with veteran reliever Chad Durbin on a one-year contract. Durbin, a graduate of Woodlawn High, returns to Philadelphia where he played a key role in the bullpen on the 2008 World Series championship team.
The deal reached Monday is pending a physical, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t make an official announcement.
Durbin was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in a career-high 76 games for Atlanta last season.
The righty was 5-4 with a career-best 2.87 ERA in 71 appearances with the Phillies in ’08. He left Philadelphia after the 2010 season and posted a 5.53 ERA in Cleveland in 2011 before returning to the NL with the Braves.
The 34-year-old Durbin is 42-47 with a 4.95 ERA in 440 games over 13 seasons with six teams.
Durbin is expected to pitch in middle relief. The Phillies signed Mike Adams to fill the setup role in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Durbin gives manager Charlie Manuel another veteran option in a bullpen that struggled last year. The Phillies had a tough time protecting leads before Papelbon entered in the ninth. Their 4.89 ERA in the eighth was next-to-last in the majors, and they allowed a league-worst 24 home runs in the inning.
With Papelbon, Adams, Durbin and lefty Antonio Bastardo filling four spots, the Phillies enter spring training with three openings in their bullpen. Youngsters Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus, Mike Stutes and Jake Diekman along with Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes will be among those competing to make the roster.
Jeter on field for first time since breaking ankle: In Tampa, Fla., Derek Jeter worked out on a baseball field Monday for the first time since breaking his left ankle in October.
The 38-year-old New York Yankees captain fielded 55 grounders on the grass in front of the infield dirt at shortstop at the team’s minor-league complex. He also hit in a batting cage.
“Everything went well,” Jeter said as he drove out of the complex.
The 13-time All-Star expects to start in New York’s opener against Boston on April 1. This is the time of year Jeter usually starts his onfield pre-spring-training routine.
Jeter broke the ankle lunging for a grounder in the AL championship series opener against Detroit on Oct. 13. He had surgery a week later, and the Yankees said recovery time would be four to five months.
Jeter has been walking on an underwater treadmill at the team’s facility since early January.
The shortstop walked from the clubhouse to the main field without a limp. Several team officials, including trainer Mark Littlefield, watched Jeter’s workout.
Jeter. who spent 90 minutes at the complex, did not run — he may not until spring training starts in mid-February.
Jeter had a resurgent season in 2012, leading the American League with 216 hits and batted .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs. He first injured his ankle in mid-September and then fouled balls off his foot several times after that.
Rivera returns to Yankees: In New York, Juan Rivera has agreed to a minor league contract with the Yankees.
The 34-year-old outfielder and first baseman, who played for the Yankees from 2001-03, hit .244 with nine homers and 47 RBIs last year for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gregerson agrees to $3.2 million deal: In San Diego, Luke Gregerson’s agent said the pitcher has agreed to a $3.2 million, one-year contract with the San Diego Padres. Tom O’Connell announced the deal Monday on his Twitter account.
Gregerson was 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 77 relief appearances last season, striking out 72 in 71.1 innings. He made $1.55 million.
Cedeno agrees to $1.15 million deal: In St. Louis, infielder Ronny Cedeno has agreed to a $1.15 million, one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, giving them insurance in case shortstop Rafael Furcal has problems returning from an elbow injury that sidelined him late last season.
Cedeno can earn an additional $850,000 in performance bonuses under Monday’s deal: $170,000 each for 200, 250, 300, 250 and 400 plate appearances.
The 29-year-old Cedeno batted .259 with four homers and 22 RBIs last year for the New York Mets. An eight-year big league veteran, he has a .247 career average for the Chicago Cubs, Seattle, Pittsburgh and the Mets and was the Pirates’ starting shortstop in 2010 and 2011.
TEAM ANNOUNCES $7 BILLION TV DEAL: In Los Angeles, the Dodgers formally announced a deal with Time Warner Cable on Monday to create a new TV channel that people familiar with the situation said assures the team more than $7 billion over 25 years. That is double what Major League Baseball thought the local TV rights were worth when the team was sold out of bankruptcy just last year.
The gap will be the subject of discussions going forward as the league attempts to haggle over how much of that extra money will go into a revenue-sharing pool to help out baseball’s lower-revenue franchises.
MLB calculates that 34 percent of a team’s local revenue, after subtracting costs, is available for redistribution throughout the league. When the Dodgers were mired in bankruptcy last year, the league agreed to value the potential TV rights of any future deal at $84 million the first year, rising 4 percent every year thereafter. Over 25 years, that estimated TV rights revenue of $3.5 billion.
Pavano hospitalized after spleen removal: Carl Pavano’s spleen was removed last week after the pitcher was injured when he fell in the snow.
The 37-year-old right-hander was hurt in mid-January at his home in Vermont and has been in a Connecticut hospital for nearly two weeks.
“He lost a lot of blood. It was very, very serious,” agent David Pepe said Monday.
Pepe said Pavano didn’t think he was seriously injured after the fall, then didn’t feel well following a workout a few days later in Connecticut.
“He felt bad enough that he went to the hospital and he ended up getting admitted, and they realized he had a lacerated spleen,” Pepe said. “They tried to control the bleeding. They did all they could to not take it out and, unfortunately, he didn’t stop bleeding and he’s been in the hospital since.”
Pepe said he hopes Pavano will be released from the hospital this week. He would not put a timetable on the free agent’s possible return to baseball.
Pavano spent the past 31/2 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, going 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts last year. He didn’t pitch after June 1 because of a strained right shoulder.
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