Stephen Drew is batting eighth for the Red Sox tonight

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After sitting out the first two months of the season and then re-signing with Boston on a one-year, $10.1 million contract Stephen Drew is making his 2014 debut tonight, playing shortstop and batting eighth for the Red Sox.

Drew hit eighth for most of last season too, logging 236 of his 501 plate appearances there and getting twice as many starts there (60) as any other spot (28, batting seventh).

Xander Bogaerts, who had been the Red Sox’s everyday shortstop in Drew’s absence, is sliding over to third base, where he’s played just nine games in the majors and 10 games in the minors.

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.