Nothing like a big, out-of-nowhere trade on an otherwise slow news day: Arizona has acquired closer Addison Reed from the White Sox in exchange for third base prospect Matt Davidson.
Reed saved 40 games this year at age 24, throwing 71 innings with a 3.79 ERA and 72/23 K/BB ratio while holding opponents to a .215 batting average. He’ll make the minimum salary in 2014 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season, so Arizona would be getting a long-term answer in the ninth-inning role.
Davidson was the Diamondbacks’ first-round pick in 2009 and made his big-league debut in August, holding his own in 31 games as a 22-year-old rookie. He was a consensus top-100 prospect heading into this year and hit .280 with 17 homers and an .831 OPS at Triple-A before reaching the majors.
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.