J.C. Romero is back in the fold with Philadelphia. The left-handed reliever successfully passed his physical examination, and the Phillies announced re-signing him to a one-year contract worth $1.35 million on Thursday.
Romero, who originally signed with the Phillies in June 2007, has logged the second-most appearances (213) of any Philadelphia reliever over that span. The 34-year-old southpaw went 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 60 appearances last year, but he's logged more walks (42) than strikeouts (40) over the past two seasons.
Philadelphia held a $4.5 million option on Romero for the 2011 season, but elected to decline it and pay him a buyout worth $250,000. The Phillies then reached an agreement with veteran left-hander Dennys Reyes, a deal that got scuttled when the left-hander failed his physical. Romero, still on the open market, became a viable option again at that point.
Romero, who sports a 33-28 career record with seven saves and a 4.08 ERA, has made the second-most appearances (597) among Major League relievers since his first full big league season in 2002. Only Francisco Cordero (606) has pitched more in that span. Since joining the Phillies, Romero has held left-handed hitters to a .166 average in 247 at-bats.
Philadelphia will have to make a move to make room for Romero on the 40-man roster, and the Phillies will also have a few other left-handed relievers -- such as Antonio Bastardo, Mike Zagurski and Sergio Escalona -- to evaluate in Spring Training.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.