Usually when a player is designated for assignment they end up getting released. Established major leaguers anyway, as they’d prefer to not opt for a minor league assignment, choosing instead to try to latch on elsewhere. Not Jose Valverde, though:
Which means that, theoretically anyway, Valverde could be back with the Tigers at some point this season. Indeed, when he was DFA’d the other day some Tigers folks were reported to believe that they could fix what’s wrong with Papa Grande if he would accept a Triple-A assignment. Good luck with that.
I’m happy, though. Because we can still keep using this pic of Valverde for a while. I rather like it:
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.