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Philadelphia Phillies choose Chad Gaudin over Masahiro Tanaka

Unlike the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies did not make a major free agent signing this week. While Masahiro Tanaka has agreed to wear those fabled black pinstripes, Chad Gaudin was offered and accepted the red line alternative.

Just a few seasons ago it appeared as though the Phillies had bought space on baseball's penthouse row. But, teams like the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and a few others have subsequently bought space in a better section of baseball town.

With Roy Halladay's $20 million off the books, general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. could have chosen to allocate that annual salary space to the 25-year-old right-handed Japanese star. But, he's opted to spread available payroll portions among a variety of lower-priced roster options.

Gaudin may prove to be a sound bullpen addition, who also deepens the starting rotation's back end. The soon-to-be 31-year-old (March 24) has appeared in 344 regular season games, 87 of which have been starts.

As long as the 11-year veteran remains healthy, he will become part of a decent middle-innings crew that should provide a nice path to Jonathan Papelbon. As long at Papelbon's right arm works as well as his personal tattoo artist, first-year relief chief Bob McClure will be happy.

The Yankees' off-season moves might enable a playoff playoff push, because other position player holes remain. As for the Phillies, they appear to be building for 2015, at the earliest.

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