Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com reports that the Yankees and shortstop Brendan Ryan have agreed to terms. Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported that the sides were close last week.
Ryan is one of baseball’s worst hitters, but he’s perhaps the best defensive shortstop this side of Andrelton Simmons. His signing by the Yankees is an indication that, nope, the Yankees don’t plan on going out and getting a new everyday shortstop. Rather, they’ll hope Derek Jeter can handle the job for one more season, with Ryan around to spell him and replace him late in close games.
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.