In their search for bullpen help the Mets “have pursued” Indians right-hander Vinnie Pestano, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
Pestano has quietly been one of the best relievers in baseball since debuting as a 25-year-old in late 2010, throwing 137 innings with a 2.50 ERA and 168 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .197 batting average.
Pestano turns 28 years old in February, will make the minimum salary in 2013, and is under team control through 2016, so the Indians’ asking price figures to be significant.
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.