The Phillies’ first non-speculative piece of news has emerged from the Winter Meetings, the signing of right-hander Brian Bass to a minor league deal and invite to spring training.
Bass, a 28-year-old reliever who will reportedly be stretched out as a starter (per the Inquirer), appeared in four games with the Pirates in 2010 and allowed 11 runs in 7 1-3 innings. It was a better story with Triple-A Indianapolis, which is where he spent the majority of the season, pitching to a 4-4 mark and 3.26 ERA. Over parts of three seasons, the 6-2, 215-pound former sixth-round pick of the Royals has seen action with the Twins, Orioles and Pirates, most noteably as the Orioles' longman in 2009 (86 1-3 IP, 4.90 ERA). In 101 big league appearances, all but four of them as a reliever, he’s 9-7 with a 5.16 ERA and a 104/85 K/BB ratio. The scouting reports suggest that his best pitch is his sinker, although he gives up a fair share of home runs.
He arrives with the Phillies after getting designated for assignment by the Pirates twice, a likely sign that he’s been added for minor league depth. Think of him as a poor man's Clay Condrey. Now you're excited.