Jose Rijo is not having a great retirement

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Remember Jose Rijo? His nasty, nasty stuff? Those great years with the Reds?  Yeah, that was a long time ago.

In recent years we’ve heard about him mostly in infamy. He was neck-deep in the international prospect shenanigans that brought down Jim Bowden in Washington. And now we have this:

The Justice Ministry’s Anti-laundering Unit on Monday raided the Las Galeras Hotel in northeastern Samaná, owned by former Cincinnati Reds star pitcher Jose Rijo, in search of evidence against his associate, Matias Avelino Castro, accused of murdering the journalist Jose Silvestre, in La Romana.

I’m not daring to equate Jim Bowden and some hotel co-owning alleged murderer. But I am saying that maybe Rijo should reevaluate the people with whom he chooses to do business.

(link via Chris Needham)

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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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.