Phillies Notebook: Phillies add Chad Durbin, Yuniesky Betancourt for depth

Posted: January 29, 2013

WITH PITCHERS and catchers reporting to Clearwater, Fla., in 2 weeks, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. hasn't stopped fiddling with his roster.

The Phillies added two veterans - a reliever and an infielder - on Monday.

The reliever is Chad Durbin, a versatile member of the 2008 World Series champion Phillies. Durbin's 1-year deal is pending a physical.

The infielder is Yuniesky Betancourt.

Amaro used the same word to describe both acquisitions: depth.

Betancourt could compete with Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen for a utility-infielder role this spring. Durbin figures to be a proven veteran in what was a young and mostly inexperienced bullpen before the Phils added setup man Mike Adams last month.

"It gives us some depth," Amaro said of Durbin, who pitched for the Phillies from 2008-10. "He was a guy who was out there at a very good price and still available late in the deal, there were some other clubs that were in on him. He loved Philadelphia and liked being in Philly."

According to ESPN.com, Durbin's deal is for $1.1 million with incentives that could earn him an additional $300,000. The Phils also have a club option for 2014.

The 35-year-old Durbin first joined the Phillies before the 2008 season. He was a vital cog in the bullpen during the team's championship run that season and went 11-7 with a 3.62 ERA in 194 games with the Phils from 2008-10.

Durbin spent the last two seasons with Cleveland and Atlanta. He was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 76 games with the Braves last season, striking out 49 while walking 28 in 61 innings.

"Durbin gives us a veteran down there in the bullpen, especially with our young pitchers," said manager Charlie Manuel, who joined Amaro and Cole Hamels at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Awards Dinner on Monday at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill. "I think he is definitely a tremendous guy to have on your team. He can handle from the fifth, sixth inning, things like that, he can get some big outs for us. He can save your bullpen at times."

The 30-year-old Betancourt is a .266 hitter with a .290 on-base percentage in eight big-league seasons with Seattle, Kansas City and Milwaukee. In his second tour with the Royals in 2012, Betancourt hit .228 with a .256 OBP in 57 games.

Betancourt has played 949 of his 1,019 games at shortstop.

"He's got some experience and background," Amaro said. "We'll see how it goes. It gives us some depth."

Trout honored

After chatting with the media and before sitting down to dinner, Amaro and Manuel shared a quick conversation with the reigning American League Rookie of the Year.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, a native of Millville, N.J., received the Pro Athlete of the Year award.

"It's awesome," Trout said of the honor. "Any time you have a chance to get recognized where you're from, where you were born."

The 21-year-old Trout hit .326 with a .399 OBP, .963 OPS, 30 home runs and 83 RBI in 139 games in 2012, his first big-league season. Trout, who was named the Philadelphia Sportsperson of the Year by the Daily News last month, led all of baseball with 129 runs and 49 stolen bases.

During the offseason, he has bounced from one banquet to another for similar awards while also sneaking in a few fishing and hunting trips. Trout recently tweeted a picture of a 550-pound goliath grouper he caught in Key West, Fla.

"My dad hooked it, I reeled it in, my brother reeled it in, too, and finished it off," Trout said. "So three of us caught it."

Since the fish is endangered, the Trouts let it go.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

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