Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Indians are among the teams interested in Padres closer Brad Hand.
The could certainly use the bullpen help, as their relievers rank 29th in the majors with 5.28 ERA. Hand would provde that help has he has a 3.05 ERA and 65/15 K/BB ratio and 24 saves over over 44.1 innings of work. He’s also provide an insurance policy for the next two seasons given that both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen due to hit free agency this winter. Hand, meanwhile, is under contract for this year and next for a total of $13.5 million, with a $10 million club option for 2021.
He’d cost a lot, but he’d also solve a problem for the Indians, both in the short term and the long term.
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.