Joe Crede sat out the entire season following his third back surgery in three years, but yesterday agent Scott Boras told reporters that the veteran third baseman is “healthy, ready to go, and he’s going to continue his career … he’s ready to come back and play.”
Crede had a good first half for the Twins in 2009, posting a .750 OPS with excellent defense at third base, but he hit .198 in the second half and was limited to just 22 games due to various injuries.
His overall .225/.289/.414 line was hardly impressive and he missed 72 of 162 games, so it seems unlikely that Crede will have many offers to choose from after sitting out a year. Perhaps a minor-league deal with a chance to compete for a bench gig will work for the 33-year-old.
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.