Mets closer Bobby Parnell needs neck surgery

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Mets closer Bobby Parnell, who was shut down more than a month ago with a herniated disk in his neck, will undergo surgery at some point according to manager Terry Collins.

Parnell tried to rest and rehab the injury and also got an epidural injection, but the problem remained. He fared well stepping into the closer role for the injured Frank Francisco, saving 22 games with a 2.16 ERA and 44/12 K/BB ratio in 50 innings, but Parnell hasn’t pitched since July 30.

Under team control through 2015 and set to get a sizable raise from this year’s $1.7 million salary via arbitration, the 29-year-old right-hander figures to handle save chances for the Mets next season assuming he’s healthy.

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.