Report: Phillies sign Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league deal

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The Phillies signed free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league deal on Saturday, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. The deal includes an invitation to spring training and could pay up to $3.75 million with incentives if he reaches the majors. The club has yet to confirm the signing.

Rodriguez, 36, was released by the Tigers halfway through the 2017 season. He eked out just 25 1/3 innings with the club, posting a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 8.2 SO/9 and career-worst -0.7 fWAR in that span. Part of his issues stemmed from a lack of velocity; only a handful of his pitches were clocked above 90 m.p.h. and he struggled to stay effective in a limited-time gig with the Nationals, who saw him in five total appearances for Double-A Harrisburg, High-A Potomac and Single-A Hagerstown before releasing him in July.

More recently, however, the veteran right-hander has made a concerted attempt to revive both his velocity and what remains of his major league career. He can check at least one of those items off his list: he reached 93 m.p.h. in a bullpen session earlier this month and may yet break camp with the Phillies, provided he can find a way to stand out in a group that includes newly-signed veteran righties Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter.