The A’s almost traded Jim Johnson to the Marlins last week

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Worth remembering the next time you hear Bob Melvin saying how much confidence he has in Jim Johnson. From Ken Rosenthal:

The Marlins, before acquiring right-hander Bryan Morris from the Pirates on Sunday, made the Athletics a trade offer for righty Jim Johnson, according to major-league sources.

The Athletics were willing to make the deal – Johnson and cash for the No. 39 pick and another player – but the Marlins instead used the pick to land Morris, sources said.

They were willing to send a decent amount of cash to Miami in the deal as well.

The Marlins were apparently the ones who started the conversation so it’s not like the A’s were actively shopping Johnson. But it sounds like they would’ve shipped him off if Miami followed through.

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.