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Phillies, Abad agree to Minor League deal

Veteran southpaw invited to Spring Training to join bullpen competition
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies added another left-hander to the mix in their eight-man bullpen competition on Saturday.

Philadelphia signed Fernando Abad to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He joins Adam Morgan, Hoby Milner and Zac Curtis as left-handers with a legitimate chance to make the team.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies added another left-hander to the mix in their eight-man bullpen competition on Saturday.

Philadelphia signed Fernando Abad to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He joins Adam Morgan, Hoby Milner and Zac Curtis as left-handers with a legitimate chance to make the team.

"Another left-handed arm with a track record of success at the Major League level," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said on Saturday afternoon at Spectrum Field. "Obviously, very exciting for us to bring Mr. Abad aboard."

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Morgan and Milner entered the spring as the two lefties favored to make the bullpen. Abad could slot between the two. Abad, 32, went 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 43 2/3 innings last season with Boston. He has a 3.65 ERA in 363 career appearances over eight seasons with the Astros, Nationals, A's, Twins and Red Sox.

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"Certainly, something that stands out to me right away is the three lefties that are bringing an incredible level of energy to camp, right now," Kapler said. "Between Curtis and Morgan and Milner, these guys have been exceptional this spring. We also have right-handers that can get left-handers out. [Pat] Neshek can get left-handers out. [Tommy] Hunter, with the cutter, can get lefties out. [Hector] Neris with his split. We have a lot of weapons to beat left-handed hitting. [It's] really awesome to have Abad come to camp, and I'm really anxious to see what he can bring to the table."

Because Abad is the only one of the four lefties not on the 40-man roster, he will have to prove himself. He will have a relatively short period of time to do it. He must be placed on the Phillies' roster by March 22 or he can become a free agent.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Fernando Abad