Shin-Soo Choo granted military exemption by South Korea

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In news that is suddenly a lot more noteworthy given today’s bombings, the South Korean government has officially granted Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo a military exemption.

Choo, like all South Korean men, was obligated to serve two years in the military prior to age 30, but the 28-year-old will not have to fulfill that requirement after leading South Korea to the gold medal at the Asian Games last week.

Choo batted .571 with three homers and 11 RBIs in the five-game tournament, collecting two hits in the championship game.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.