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Report: Prince Fielder’s career is over

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Update #2 (3:04 PM EDT): Rosenthal clarifies that Fielder is not retiring. Rather, he’s being declared medically disabled and doctors won’t clear him to play.

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Update (2:26 PM EDT): Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News also hears from a source that Fielder’s career is indeed over.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from sources that Rangers DH Prince Fielder‘s career “appears to be over.” The Rangers are expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday. Rosenthal didn’t specifically use the word “retirement” but that’s what it sounds like.

Fielder, 32, recently underwent season-ending neck surgery, known as spinal fusion surgery. It’s his second such procedure, aimed to alleviate a herniated disk in his neck.

If this is it for Fielder, he had a heck of a career. Over parts of 12 seasons with the Brewers, Tigers, and Rangers, he hit .283/.382/.506 with 319 home runs, and 1,028 RBI in 6,853 plate appearances. He was named to the All-Star team six times, won three Silver Sluggers, and had two top-three NL MVP Award finishes. Fielder also won the 2009 and 2012 Home Run Derby. He was a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

Fielder is owed the remainder of his $24 million salary for this season and will earn $24 million annually through 2020. The Tigers are covering $6 million per year.

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.