Werth, Durbin agree to pacts with Phils

Werth, Durbin agree to pacts with Phils

Going into this offseason, the list of arbitration-eligible players on the Phillies was almost intimidating.

Now, with pitchers and catchers 24 days away from reporting to Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., that list has dwindled to one.

On Wednesday, the Phillies got two steps closer when they agreed to terms on a two-year deal with outfielder Jayson Werth, and a one-year, $1.635 million deal with reliever Chad Durbin.

The club announced the Durbin deal on Wednesday and the Werth signing on Thursday. Werth will make $10 million over the two years. SI.com said he will receive $3 million in 2009 and $7 million in 2010.

With Werth and Durbin on board, the Phillies only have Ryan Howard as a potential arbitration case. When arbitration figures came out Tuesday, Howard and the Phillies stood $4 million apart, as the lefty slugger wants $18 million.

That situation could take a while before being resolved.

While making $1.7 million, Werth hit .273 with 24 home runs, 67 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 134 games in 2008, his second season in Philadelphia. For his six-year career, the 29-year-old -- a first-round Draft pick of the Orioles in 1997 -- has hit for a combined .263.

Hot Stove
With the addition of left-handed hitter Raul Ibanez, Werth's presence becomes more crucial because he is a right-handed hitter with power who can offset lefties Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Ibanez in the middle of the lineup.

Werth and reliever Ryan Madson were the two arbitration-eligible players for the Phillies who were free agents after the 2009 season, and both have reportedly now signed on to multi-year deals.

Durbin, 31, made $900,000 in 2008, when he went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 71 appearances.

"Chad came to Philadelphia and in his first season of being a full-time reliever helped solidify what we believe to be one of the best bullpens in baseball," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said via press release.

Added Durbin: "We're very pleased with how it all played out and definitely didn't want to go to arbitration. Both sides are happy to be where we ended up."

Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.