Jeff Francoeur signed a minor league deal with the Indians over the winter in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster, but Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that he was cut from the team this morning.
Francoeur was actually pretty productive during Cactus League play, hitting 286/.359/.429 with one home run, two doubles, 10 RBI and a 6/4 K/BB ratio over 39 plate appearances. However, it wasn’t enough to secure a spot on Cleveland’s bench.
Francoeur turned 30 in January and owns an ugly .226/.272/.354 batting line since the start of the 2012 season. As well-liked as he is in the game, he might have to prove himself in the minors to get his next opportunity in the big leagues.
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.