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Phillies sign Steroid Franklin

Guest FishFanInPA

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Guest FishFanInPA

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' search for depth in the starting rotation brought them to Ryan Franklin, as the veteran right-hander agreed to a one-year, $2.6 million contract pending a physical Thursday.

The pact also includes performance bonuses based on innings and games pitched.


The 32-year-old became a free agent when Seattle -- Philadelphia general manager Pat Gillick's old team -- declined to offer him a contract by the Dec. 20 deadline. He was 35-50 with a 4.34 ERA in six seasons with the Mariners, including a 12-31 mark over the past two years.


Last season was particularly difficult for Franklin, as he went 8-15 with a 5.10 ERA. It also included a 10-day suspension for violating baseball's steroids policy.


Gillick is familiar with the durable right-hander, who has averaged 31 starts and 201 innings over the past three seasons. Franklin will join Jon Lieber, Brett Myers and Cory Lidle in the starting rotation, which will likely result in a more intense competition for the fifth starter's job.


It is unclear whether this changes the thinking regarding Ryan Madson as a starter. Philadelphia had been searching for either a starter or reliever, and figured Madson would fill the other spot. So this move might thrust Madson into the eighth-inning setup role. If not, he'll be the leading candidate to be the fifth starter, but will face competition from Gavin Floyd, Rob Tejeda and Eude Brito.

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