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Phillies want to complete perfect Blown Save Bullpen

Guest FishFanInPA

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Guest FishFanInPA

DALLAS - Stymied on all fronts as they tried to add a starting pitcher, the Phillies soon could announce the acquisition of their replacement for setup man Ugueth Urbina.


The Phils yesterday remained in negotiations with the Hendricks brothers, who represent Braden Looper and who attended the winter meetings that ended here yesterday. Alan Hendricks said that Looper, the Mets' closer last season, was being courted by as many as a dozen teams.


Factors in the Phillies' favor included the fact that Looper, 31, would be setting up a 38-year-old setup man, Tom Gordon, and the reality that the Phillies would be willing to pay for such an insurance policy.


In the inflated current market, Looper, a righthander who had a routine shoulder procedure after the season, likely would look for something approaching the 2-year, $6.75 million contract he signed when he left the Marlins for the Mets after the 2003 season. He also would likely want escalators included for finishing games if he assumes Gordon's role for whatever reason.


"Money is part of it," Alan Hendricks said. "Opportunity is part of it. The Phillies are seriously under consideration. We have a lot of choices. I have to talk to Braden and sort through his options."


The Phillies had an interest in free-agent righthander Elmer Dessens, but he has agreed to terms on a 2-year deal with Kansas City.

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