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Jose Contreras, Phillies Agree to 2-Year Contract Extension

Nov 15, 2010 – 1:45 PM
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Pat Lackey

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Jose ContrerasJose Contreras has found new life as a reliever, and his bullpen success reportedly led to a contract extension.

The Phillies announced a two-year deal with Contreras Monday, one which ESPN Deportes reported Sunday night will be worth about $5 million.

Contreras signed a one-year deal with the Phillies last winter for $1.5 million, an $8.5 million pay cut from his 2009 salary.

After a couple years of decline in the White Sox rotation, the Rockies traded for Contreras late in 2009 and put him in the bullpen where he found some success during their playoff run.

That continued in Philadelphia in 2010, as Contreras averaged more than a strikeout per inning with a 3.56 K/BB ratio that easily trumped any single-season rate he put up as a starter. In 56 2/3 innings, he had a 3.34 ERA.

As good as Contreras was, the Phillies do run a bit of a risk here, given that Contreras is about to turn 39 (his birthday is Dec. 6). Relying on any pitcher to give a team high-leverage innings as he approaches 40 is risky, especially someone who's had as many up-and-down seasons as Contreras.

Of course, the Phillies aren't really going out on much of a limb by paying him $2.5 million a season. If he keeps pitching well, they have a solid reliever, and if his performance drops off of a cliff, they're not paying him enough to have to worry about making him a mop-up man or cutting him free.
Filed under: Sports