Indians closer Chris Perez investigated for drug possession

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Indians closer Chris Perez, who’s currently on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, is being investigated for drug possession in the Cleveland suburb of Rocky River, according to Zack Meisel of MLB.com.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer talked to a source who said “a package, believed to contain marijuana” was delivered to Perez’s house and Indians general manager Chris Antonetti issued the following statement:

Earlier this morning we were made aware of a situation involving Chris Perez that occurred yesterday in Rocky River. We have talked with Chris and are currently in the process of gathering additional information.

In addition to his shoulder injury Perez recently made headlines for deleting his Twitter account in response to negative interactions following poor appearances for the Indians. Before going on the disabled list he had a 4.32 ERA and 18/10 K/BB ratio in 16.2 innings, serving up four homers and a .492 slugging percentage while blowing two of his eight save chances.

UPDATE: Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that no arrest has been made yet and it’s an ongoing investigation, which is why police have yet to comment.

UPDATE: Rocky River police told Meisel that “a search warrant was conducted, evidence was obtained, and charges will be forthcoming.”

UPDATE: According to the police chief the previous occupants of Perez’s place were investigated “on numerous occasions for quite a volley of incidents.” Which seems to suggest that perhaps Perez had nothing to do with the whole thing.

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.