Former Orioles reliever Danys Baez has agreed to a two-year deal with the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, according to multiple reports.
Baez will take a physical in Philadelphia early next week in order to finalize the deal. The 32-year-old reliever will be used as a setup man in front of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge, who is coming off elbow surgery and might not be ready by Opening Day.
With a slew of right-handed relievers on their 40-man roster, the Orioles never aggressively pursued bringing back Baez, who went 4-12 with the club and had a 5.02 ERA in 112 appearances over two seasons.
Baez signed a three-year, $19 million deal with the Orioles as part of their bullpen spending spree before the 2007 season. The former closer for the Tampa Bay Rays struggled in his first season with the Orioles, going 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 relief appearances in 2007. He was ultimately shut down with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow that required Tommy John ligament-reconstruction surgery after the season.
Baez didn't pitch during the 2008 campaign while rehabbing his elbow. His role with the Orioles remained in question heading into 2009, but Baez developed into one of manager Dave Trembley's more reliable relief options after the club experimented with using the right-hander as a starter during spring training. He went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 games out of the bullpen.
Baez pitched for current Phillies manager Charlie Manuel while both were with the Cleveland Indians from 2001-2002. Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock was also in the front office of both Tampa Bay and the Orioles when Baez pitched for those clubs.
- Jeff Zrebiec