A pair of former Phillies pitchers will spend 2017 in Japan.
David Buchanan signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Yakult Swallows of NPB, Japan's best league.
Fellow right-hander Phil Klein, who made two starts for the Phillies last season, signed with the Yokohama BayStars. He'll reportedly make about $1.25 million with a chance for incentives.
The move makes sense for Buchanan, who has been decent at Triple A but struggled badly the last time he was in the majors. A pitcher reliant on pinpoint command, Buchanan went 6-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 20 starts as a rookie in 2014, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
But after a strong showing in spring training in 2015, Buchanan had a dismal April, going 0-5 with an 8.76 ERA. He finished the year 2-9 with a 6.99 ERA and 1.85 WHIP in 15 starts.
"He can keep his pitches low with a high strike rate, and has strong fighting spirit. We wanted that kind of a pitcher," Yakult international director Masayuki Okumura said in a statement (via Kyodo News).
The Phillies released the 27-year-old on Nov. 23.
Klein is also 27 and will carry strong Triple A numbers over to Japan. In parts of three seasons at the minors' highest level, Klein has a 2.14 ERA with 174 strikeouts in 160 innings. The Phillies claimed him off waivers from the Rangers in June. He made four appearances in the majors with them, then was released on Dec. 14.
Phils sign Holaday
The Phillies signed catcher Bryan Holaday to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. It's a depth signing that could potentially give them the flexibility to start both Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp in the minors again this season if they're deemed unready.
Phillies GM Matt Klentak did recently say, however, that the Phillies don't necessarily need a veteran backup catcher, which could mean Knapp gets the backup role if he hits enough in spring training.
Holaday, 29, has hit .245/.282/.346 in parts of five seasons with the Tigers, Rangers and Red Sox. He's thrown runners out at a league-average rate (28 percent), and has allowed just one passed ball in 453 defensive innings the last two years.