Reports: Reds agree to contract with veteran relief pitcher

Zach Duke pitched for Reds in 2013

The Cincinnati Reds agreed to a contract with veteran relief pitcher Zach Duke on Friday, according to multiple reports. Mark Sheldon, of, reported Duke has to complete a physical before signing.

This will be the second stint with the Reds for Duke, who had a 0.84 ERA in 14 appearances and 10 2/3 innings in 2013 after being released by the Washington Nationals and signing with the Reds.

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Duke made his debut with the Reds that September in a key game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out Matt Adams to get out of a jam in the eighth inning, though the Reds lost the game 5-4 in 16 innings.

“That’s what I was hoping to get into when they called me up,” Duke said. “I was hoping to get into some situations like that. Everyone’s goal is to earn the respect of their teammates and have them believe you can get the job done. Hopefully, I can continue doing that.”

Duke began his career as a starter with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005. He was 45-70 with a 4.54 ERA in 159 starts. In 2009, when he was 11-16 with a 4.06 ERA, he made the National League All-Star team.

Duke, a Texas native who turns 36 in April, has bounced around the big leagues since last pitching for the Reds, playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, Saint Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners. Last season, he split time between Seattle and Minnesota and had a 4.15 ERA in 72 relief appearances.

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