Joba Chamberlain released by the Blue Jays

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Joba Chamberlain, who signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays after being released by the Tigers last month, has now been released from the Triple-A team by Toronto.

Chamberlain was awful at Triple-A, allowing 10 runs in five innings, and had an opt-out clause in his contract.

He was actually a decent middle reliever for the Tigers, posting a 3.71 ERA and 74/29 K/BB ratio in 85 innings in 2014 and 2015, but “decent middle reliever” when viewed through the prism of his sky-high expectations as a Yankees prospect is why Chamberlain seems to get a lot more criticism than most pitchers with his ERA.

He’ll latch on somewhere else as a potential setup man, although perhaps not until the offseason.

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.