It's true. Well, the first part anyway.
I'm pretty close to serious in suggesting that the main reason for the Phillies to pay him is so another team won't. Redding, 33, has not been a good major league pitcher: he's 37-57 for his career with a 4.95 ERA. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009, when he went 3-6 with a 5.10 ERA for the Mets. He's had a winning record in exactly one season--ten years ago, when he went 3-1 as a rookie for the Astros. Most recently, he put up a 2-7 record and ass-ugly 6.59 ERA for the Dodgers' triple-A team, the Albuquerque Isotopes.
Yet the mere mention of his name is enough to scare Phillies fans. Admittedly, Redding's 5-4 lifetime record against the Phils isn't all that impressive (though it's Redding's only winning record against a team when he's registered more than four career decisions facing them). But his ERA of 3.01 in 14 career starts is imposing, and their collective .203/.282/.296 line against him is hilariously stomach-turning--particularly when one recalls that most of this was compiled from 2006-2009, when the Phillies had the NL's best offense by far. In that otherwise forgettable 2009 campaign with the Mets, Redding held the Phillies to four runs in eighteen innings.
I actually love this strategy, particularly if whatever the Phillies pay the guys who kill them to sit idle doesn't count against the salary cap. What's Julio Lugo (.452/.530/.750 vs. the Phils in 101 career plate appearances) doing these days? zOMG HE'S ON THE BRAVES' TRIPLE-A TEAM!!! (And hitting worse than the Phillies against Tim Redding, but still.) Clearly Ruben Amaro Jr. got to Redding just in time.