The Phillies bullpen is looking pretty empty these days, but one big step was taken to keep one of the more effective arms in Philadelphia. Jose Contreras and the Phillies agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal that will keep Contreras in Philly through the 2012 season. Contreras was a very pleasant surprise out of the pen in 2010, posting a 3.34 ERA in 67 appearances and averaging nine strikeouts per nine innings.
Contreras was primarily a starter coming into the 2010 season, having made just 16 relief appearances in 191 games before signing with the Phillies. The 39 year-old right-hander responded well to pitching in relief and became one of the more effective and relied-upon relievers that the Phillies had this past season.
With Contreras now signed, the Phillies have closer Brad Lidge, set-up man Ryan Madson, Danys Baez and newly signed Eddie Bonine (minor league deal) as arms in the pen.