Ichiro Suzuki’s deal with the Marlins is worth $2 million

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Making official what was reported last week, the Marlins signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year contract. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com the deal is worth “$2 million plus performance incentives.”

To announce the signing there will be a press conference in Japan attended by Suzuki and Marlins president David Samson, president of baseball operations Michael Hill, and general manager Dan Jennings.

At age 41 he’ll be joining the Marlins in a backup role, playing behind starting outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich.

Between the projected part-time work and Suzuki’s declining production–he hit just .275 during the past four seasons while never cracking a .700 OPS–it’ll be tough for the 10-time All-Star to collect the 156 hits needed to join the 3,000-hit club in MLB. Counting his time in Japan he has 4,122 total hits, which is 134 short of Pete Rose’s record.

It’ll be interesting to see if Suzuki’s style at the plate lends itself to being a productive pinch-hitter. Thanks to almost always being in the starting lineup throughout his career Suzuki’s pinch-hitting numbers are limited, but he’s batted .286 with zero extra-base hits and a .634 OPS in 46 total plate appearances off the bench.

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.