Domínguez points to family for signing extension with Phils

February 16th, 2023

CLEARWATER, Fla. --  and the Phillies made a deal Thursday that could keep him in red pinstripes through 2025.

The team announced a two-year contract extension with a 2025 club option. The deal is worth $2.5 million in 2023 and $4.25 million in '24, according to sources. The Phillies can exercise an $8 million club option, or take a $500,000 buyout, for 2025. Essentially, the Phillies bought out the final two years of Domínguez’s salary-arbitration eligibility, while giving them the option to keep him under contract before he hits free agency in the 2024-25 offseason.

“It’s a really special day for me and my family,” Domínguez said at BayCare Ballpark. “I just want to be here for the Phillies, and I would like to be here forever, because it’s the only family that I know. The Phillies' clubhouse is a nice place to be right now.”

Domínguez wondered if he might ever pitch again in the big leagues, when he suffered a torn ligament in his right elbow in 2019, which required Tommy John surgery in '20. He threw just one inning in the big leagues from June 2019 through the end of '21. Domínguez then missed a month late last season because of tendinitis in his right triceps.

His health issues influenced his decision to sign an extension when he did, rather than wait for a potentially bigger payoff in a year or two.

“My family,” Domínguez said, when asked why he wanted to sign an extension. “It’s the most important thing to me.”

Domínguez, 28, posted a 3.00 ERA with nine saves in a career-high 54 appearances last season. He struck out 61 and walked 22 in 51 innings. He posted a 1.69 ERA in nine postseason appearances, striking out 18 and walking one in 10 2/3 innings.

Domínguez will return to his role as one of manager Rob Thomson’s most trusted late-inning relievers, alongside José Alvarado, Gregory Soto and Craig Kimbrel. Thomson did not anoint an official closer last season. He does not plan to name one come Opening Day, although one could emerge at some point. Domínguez is expected to see plenty of opportunities in the ninth inning.

Soto is the only pitcher or catcher not in camp because of visa issues coming out of the Dominican Republic, said Thomson, who does not know when Soto might arrive. But Thomson said Soto lives about 20 minutes from the Phillies’ academy in the Dominican, so he is working out there.

“He’s not going to miss a beat,” Thomson said.