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Kasey Kiker signs with Phillies

Former Russell County pitcher Kasey Kiker has signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The team confirmed the signing Monday but did not release when the deal was struck.

Kiker was released by the Texas Rangers in December after five seasons in their organization. He was exposed to the Rule 5 draft, during which any team could have drafted him, but none did.

Kiker was drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the 2006 MLB draft, the 12th player taken overall.Kiker, 24, was 23-31 with a 4.53 ERA in five seasons with 490 strikeouts and 277 walks in 481 innings.

After spending two seasons in Double-A at Frisco, Texas, Kiker pitched last season at High-A Myrtle Beach. He went 3-4 with a 7.05 ERA. He had 54 strikeouts and 52 walks in 44 2/3 innings.

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