By Sam Bush
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak made another move yesterday that isn’t earth-shattering but speaks to his desire for pitching depth.
He signed left-handed relief pitcher James Russell to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Russell, 29, went 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA and one save in 49 appearances last season with the Cubs. He posted a combined 3.26 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 217 appearances from 2012-14. The Phillies likely view him as a bounce-back candidate, much like right-hander Dan Otero, whom they claimed off waivers from the A’s earlier this month.
Russell, like Otero, is one year removed from a quality season. Russell posted a career-best 2.97 ERA in 66 appearances with the Cubs and Braves in 2014.
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