PHILADELPHIA — Looking to fortify their bullpen, the Phillies turned to a familiar face.
Durbin returns to Philadelphia, where he played a key role in the bullpen on the 2008 World Series championship team.
The deal reached on Monday is pending a physical
“It gives us some depth,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com. “He was a guy who was out there at a very good price and still available late in the (offseason).
“He loved Philadelphia and liked being in Philly and we’re hoping to get something done in the next 24 hours or so. … Veteran guy and a quality guy and he can give us something that the young guys may not be able to give us and that’s experience.”
Durbin was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in a career-high 76 games for Atlanta last season.
The righty was 5-4 with a career-best 2.87 ERA in 71 appearances with the Phillies in ’08.
He left Philadelphia after the 2010 season and posted a 5.53 ERA in Cleveland in 2011 before returning to the National League with the Braves.
The 34-year-old Durbin is 42-47 with a 4.95 ERA in 440 games over 13 seasons with six teams.
Durbin is expected to pitch in middle relief. The Phillies signed Mike Adams to fill the setup role in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Durbin gives manager Charlie Manuel another veteran option for a bullpen that struggled last year. The Phillies had a tough time protecting leads before Papelbon entered in the ninth.
Their 4.89 ERA in the eighth was next-to-last in the majors, and they allowed a league-worst 24 home runs.
With Papelbon, Adams, Durbin and lefty Antonio Bastardo filling four spots, the Phillies enter spring training with three openings in their bullpen.
Youngsters Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus, Mike Stutes and Jake Diekman along with Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes will be among those competing to make the roster.
The Phillies and infielder Yuniesky Betancourt agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league spring training.
The 30-year-old Betancourt hit .228 with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 36 RBIs in 57 games with Kansas City last season.
He played 46 games at second base, eight at third base and one at shortstop.
Betancourt has a .266 average with 203 doubles, 28 triples, 67 homers and 411s RBI in eight seasons with Seattle, Kansas City and Milwaukee.