Watch as Angels first baseman Albert Pujols moved to within two home runs of the big 500-homer milestone on Saturday afternoon against Tigers closer Joe Nathan …
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Pujols hit 455 of his 498 career homers while a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. There are currently 25 players in the 500 home run club: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa, Frank Robinson, Mark McGwire, Harmon Killebrew, Rafael Palmeiro, Reggie Jackson, Manny Ramirez, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas, Eddie Mathews, Ernie Banks, Mel Ott, Gary Sheffield, and Eddie Murray.
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.