Johan Santana’s agent gave an update on the left-hander’s status, telling Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the two-time Cy Young winner plans to pitch next season after missing all of this year following shoulder surgery.
Santana will be a free agent after finishing a six-year, $137.5 million contract with the Mets and apparently told his agent that he “isn’t going out like this.”
Santana is still just 34 years old, but he hasn’t pitched effectively since mid-2012 and is no sure thing to be fully recovered from surgery by spring training. Odds are he’ll have to settle for an incentive-laden deal and prove he’s healthy again.
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.