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MLB Free Agency: Philadelphia Phillies Sign Pitcher Dontrelle Willis For Relief Help

The Philadelphia Phillies made a surprising signing Tuesday, as former Rookie Of The Year, pitcher Dontrelle Willis, was inked to a one-year deal to not start, but help bolster the bullpen. Willis has struggled to get batters out in recent years and has seen just three relief appearance in his career, however, the Phillies think that they can use him as a lefty specialist.

"His career numbers against lefties are outstanding, holding them to a .200/.274/.288 slash line," wrote Philly.com's Matt Gelb Tuesday. "In 2011, those numbers were even better, as lefties hit .127 with a .369 OPS against."

"Ruben Amaro Jr. said he wanted to add a lefthanded reliever at the winter meetings and Willis simply adds depth. Theoretically, if the Phillies needed a starter to slide into the rotation because of injury, Willis presents that backup plan."

Last season as a starter, Willis compiled a 5.05 ERA with the Cincinnati Reds. In 205 career appearances, Willis has started in 202 of them.

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