Backup catcher Fasano joins Phillies

Backup catcher Fasano joins Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Sal Fasano had a career-high 11 home runs in 160 at-bats for the Orioles last season. If the Phillies can get that type of offensive production from him in 2006, they'll be ecstatic.

On Thursday, the Phillies signed the free agent backup catcher to a one-year deal worth $425,000, plus performance bonuses.

"Fasano has always been a quality receiver with a lot of energy," Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement released by the club. "He will be a good complement to Mike Lieberthal. He's a winning player, which is the kind of character we are trying to bring to our club."

Fasano played the majority of last season with the Orioles after starting the season at Triple-A Ottawa. Fasano appeared in more Major League games (64) with the Orioles last year than he had in any season since a career-high 74 in '98.

The 35-year-old Fasano began his career in '93 with the Royals organization. He has played in the Majors in parts of eight seasons with the Royals (1996-99, '01), A's ('00-01), Rockies ('01), Angels ('02) and Orioles ('05). He did not play professionally in '03.

Fasano has a career .988 fielding percentage and has caught 31 percent of runners attempting to steal -- 53-of-173 -- for his career.

The addition of Fasano brings the Phillies' 40-man roster to 39.

With the Winter Meetings getting under way Monday in Dallas, the Phillies are expected to continue to make moves. The club is reportedly interested in relief pitchers Tom Gordon, Trevor Hoffman and Bob Wickman, with Gordon drawing the most interest.

"We will continue to do what we can to improve this ballclub and give [manager] Charlie [Manuel] the most opportunity to win games," general manager Pat Gillick told on Thursday. "There are some holes that we need to fill, obviously, and we will continue to do everything possible to fill them."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.