The Chicago Cubs have signed outfielder Peter Bourjos to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
The book on Bourjos is the same as it ever was: he’s fast and plays good outfield defense — though not as good at 30 as he did when he was younger — but he can’t hit enough to stick as a regular. Last year he hit a mere .223/.272/.383 in 203 plate appearances.
He’ll be 31 when Opening Day rolls around. He’ll try to make it as a fifth outfielder for the Cubs but, if I had to guess, I’d say that he’ll either be heading to Iowa on that day or will have been released to see if he can’t make another club’s 25-man roster.
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.