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Philadelphia Phillies' trade deepens bullpen options

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Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. said that he was looking to add to his bullpen inventory after the season ended. His pre-Winter Meetings deal, that sent Erik Kratz to the American League, accomplished that goal.

Working the smartphone less than a week before heading to Florida, Amaro obtained right-handed reliever Brad Lincoln from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for backup catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rob Rasmussen (who had been acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in August for Michael Young). The trade of Kratz, who had been Carlos Ruiz' backup, was telegraphed earlier in the day when word of an impending free agent deal with Wil Nieves broke.

Amaro needed to bolster his middle-innings relief corps. Mike Adams, who was obtained last year to setup for Jonathan Papelbon, is expected to return in 2014. However, the veteran reliever's approximate return date remains uncertain.

The Phillies moved quickly this off-season by signing free agent (and former Phillie) Marlon Byrd to play right field and then inking Carlos Ruiz to a new deal. However, Ryne Sandberg still needs a veteran starter, another reliever and possibly a different outfield option to complete his 2014 spring training squad.

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