MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins have signed utilityman Ty Wigginton to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Wigginton will be competing for a bench job. He can play first, second, and third, and even has experience in the outfield corners.
Wigginton was unproductive with the Cardinals last year, posting a .158/.238/.193 line in 63 trips to the plate. He has posted negative WAR in four out of the last five seasons, combining for -2.6, according to Baseball Reference. The only players less valuable than Wigginton, minimum 1,000 plate appearances since 2009, have been Yuniesky Betancourt (-6.5 WAR) and Greg Dobbs (-3.8).
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.