CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is hearing from rival MLB general managers that the Angels are making left-handed starter C.J. Wilson available for a trade ahead of this week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.
The feeling is that the Halos are setting themselves up for a run at a top free agent pitcher like Max Scherzer or James Shields, and moving Wilson would free up both a rotation spot and some payroll space.
Anaheim are probably going to have to eat some cash to find a taker for the 34-year-old southpaw, who posted a rough 4.51 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 175 2/3 innings this past season for the AL West champions and then got shelled in his one postseason start. Wilson is owed $18 million in 2015 and a whopping $20 million in 2016.
He carries a no-trade clause that allows him to veto moves to eight (unidentified) teams.
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.