Right-hander Juan Nicasio, who was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week, has now been traded to the Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Colorado let Nicasio go early rather than simply non-tendering him before the December 2 deadline, choosing not to pay him a projected $2.4 million salary via arbitration following three straight seasons with an ERA above 5.00.
However, he’s always had good raw stuff and at age 28 he pitched well after shifting to the bullpen, throwing 21 innings with a 3.48 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio. For a team like the Dodgers that doesn’t really care about a couple million bucks he provides some nice bullpen depth.
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.