Braves sign infielder Ramiro Pena to one-year contract

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Ramiro Pena and the Braves have agreed to a one-year deal, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

Pena was a utility man for the Yankees in 2009 and 2010, but has played sparingly for them during the past two seasons while spending most of his time at Triple-A hitting just .257 with a .673 OPS in 199 games.

At age 27 he doesn’t have much upside, but Bowman reports that Pena is getting a major-league contract and will presumably have a bench gig for 2013.

Between this and Jack Hannahan’s two-year deal with the Reds it’s a helluva day to be a no-hit utility man.

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.