Utilityman Jamey Carroll drawing plenty of interest

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Jamey Carroll finished 2013 with a .518 OPS, the lowest among any hitter in baseball, minimum 200 plate appearances (per Baseball Reference). Despite his anemic offensive contributions, Carroll is still drawing plenty of interest as a free agent, reports Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Cotillo cites the Rays, Rangers, and Indians — as well as “a few more” — among those showing interest.

In recent years, Carroll has spent significant time at second base, third base, and shortstop, while also contributing as a pitcher last year with the Twins during a blowout and in the outfield with the Dodgers in 2010. Ultimate Zone Rating, found at FanGraphs, grades him as an average defender on the left side of the infield and above-average at second base.

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.