The Yankees announced this evening that they have claimed catcher Eli Whiteside off waivers from the Giants. It’s your move, Russell Martin.
Whiteside, 33, appeared in 12 games with the World Series champion Giants this season and owns a meager .215/.273/.335 batting line and a .608 OPS over 537 plate appearances in the majors. He is arbitration-eligible this offseason, but the Yankees may attempt to slip him through waivers and keep him as a non-roster player.
Whiteside could be in the mix for the backup catcher job during spring training along with former teammate Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli, though he is more likely to open next season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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.