Phillies add bullpen depth with former elite closer Craig Kimbrel

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies signed reliever Craig Kimbrel to a one-year contract, hoping the onetime elite closer can become a quality arm out of the bullpen.

An eight-time All-Star, Kimbrel has 394 career saves, which is most among all active pitchers and ranks seventh on the career list. Kimbrel struggled last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was left off the postseason roster.

He had 22 saves in 27 chances last season with the Dodgers. Kimbrel appeared in 63 games for the Dodgers and posted a 3.75 ERA.

Perhaps a change of scenery can help the 34-year-old Kimbrel rediscover his form with the National League champions. He has gone 15 for 15 in save opportunities at Citizens Bank Park, where all 21 of his appearances have been scoreless.

A 2018 World Series champion with Boston, Kimbrel won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2011 with Atlanta. He has pitched 13 seasons in the majors for six teams.

The Phillies also acquired right-handed pitcher Erich Uelmen from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash.

The 26-year-old Uelmen pitched in 25 games with the Cubs in 2022, finishing eight of them. He posted a 4.67 ERA, including a 2.84 mark in 23 of his 25 appearances during his first major league season.

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his salary arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for a $5 million salary during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.