Former White Sox closer Dustin Hermanson will throw this week, with team officials expected to be in attendance, according to Philadelphia Inquirer scribe Jim Salisbury.
The White Sox declined Hermanson’s $3.85 million option back in December, opting for a $500,000 buyout. The 34-year-old free agent made only six appearances last season, missing most of the year with back problems. Hermanson saved 34 games for the World Champs in 2005, going 2-4 with a 2.04 ERA.
Beerleaguer: The bullpen-thin Phillies cannot afford to pass on Hermanson, even if he's not expected to be 100 percent by opening day. Realistically, there’s no guarantee a quality arm will shake loose in spring training, which starts in just 10 days. Primary trade chip Jon Lieber, expected to audition in Clearwater for other teams, could be just as wretched as last spring.
Philadelphia would present a first-class opportunity for Hermanson. The set-up job is open, the closer is 39 and the Phillies should be right in the hunt. While most clubs filled their bullpen early with high-price free agents, Hermanson could become a late-winter steal. Health-wise, this appears to be a matter of rebuilding strength in his back, but it's entirely possible team doctors will waive a red flag, as they did with Joe Borowski back in December.
In other news, the Phillies offered former Cleveland reliever Paul Shuey a minor-league deal, but he signed with Baltimore, according to the same report in the Inquirer. The 36-year-old last pitched with the Dodgers in 2003 before breaking down. Beerleaguer reader, Mike, scooped this story last week.