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Middlebrooks likely, Geltz on board with minor league deals

It’s an annual tradition. One we anticipate every year. It’s “the Phillies make some minor league signings” time.

The Phillies are either close to or have signed two players to these kinds of deals: third baseman Will Middlebrooks and pitcher Steve Geltz. That’s Geltz, with a G.

Middlebrooks, 29, who was once a promising young player with the Red Sox, has since turned into the worst possible outcome for Maikel Franco. Over the last two years he’s had just 70 major league plate appearances, and for his career he’s a .228/.272/.391 hitter. Take away his good first season with the Sox and Middlebrooks is a .210/.256/.356 hitter.

He is, however, decent at triple-A, hitting .258/.327/.529 last year with the Round Rock Express (Texas). More than likely he’ll be on the Lehigh Valley roster, if he accepts that fate. But he can play multiple positions, and with a great spring (we’re assuming his likely deal includes an invitation to spring training), could possibly make the big club as a utility player.

Geltz, meanwhile, is 30 and spent last year in the Dodgers system, putting up a 2.67 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 12 walks in triple-A. He was a fixture in the Tampa Bay bullpen in 2015 with a 3.74 ERA. He could find his way into the Phils’ bullpen, but again, is more likely a veteran to fill out the IronPigs’ roster.

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