A’s sign Philip Humber to minor league contract

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Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports that the Athletics have reached agreement on a minor league contract with right-hander Philip Humber.

Humber became a free agent on October 3 when the Astros made the easy decision to decline his $3 million club option for the 2014 season. The 30-year-old posted a 7.90 ERA in 54 2/3 innings (mostly as a reliever) this past summer for Houston.

Humber, who threw a perfect game as a member of the White Sox in early 2012, received an invitation to spring training from Oakland but will likely struggle to crack the Opening Day bullpen.

The former first-round pick has a 5.31 career ERA in 371 major league innings.

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.