The source said Durbin hopes to have his destination picked in the next 48 hours because most camps have been open for nearly two weeks.
The 33-year-old righthander made $2.125 million in 2010 and hit the market as a free agent for the first time in his career this winter. The Phillies and Durbin have expressed mutual interest in a return all off-season. But after the Phillies signed Cliff Lee, their desire for a guaranteed contract with another middle reliever lessened.
Both Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson have openly campaigned for Durbin's return this spring and hinted at the possibility still existing. The Phillies have never been averse to the idea but did not see eye-to-eye with Durbin on his original demands.
If his hand is forced because there are no major-league offers on the table, the source said, Durbin's preference would be to go to the Phillies and compete for a job as a non-roster player.
For the Phillies, it would be a no-risk signing. Durbin was a regular contributor on the last three division-winning teams. Last season, he had a 3.80 ERA in 682/3 innings, most of which came in the sixth and seventh innings of games.
After declaring himself completely recovered from an off-season muscle strain, Lee threw 38 pitches to live hitters for the first time this spring. He is on par with the rest of the pitchers in camp.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee watched a majority of Lee's session and said the lefthander threw all of his pitches.
"Cliff Lee was very, very good," Dubee said.
Antonio Bastardo did not throw to live hitters with the rest of his group Tuesday. He is scheduled for a side bullpen session Wednesday and is not slated to appear in any of the first five Grapefruit League games. Bastardo has been slowed by an arm injury suffered in winter ball and a stomach illness this spring. . . . Mike Schmidt made his first appearance as a guest instructor this spring. The Hall of Famer usually spends about two weeks in camp.
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb
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