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Checking in with players’ feelings about the hot stove

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Two weeks ago I wrote about how some players were not happy with the state of the hot stove season. Not happy with how over 100 free agents are still looking for work — including two of the best players in the game — less than two weeks before pitchers and catchers report.

Almost no free agents of note have signed since then, so the displeasure with how things are going is still, not surprisingly, there. Let’s check on some of that sentiment!

First up, 12-year veteran reliever Peter Moylan, who saw the news yesterday that the Red Sox have signed reliever Jenrry Meija, who was just reinstated from a lifetime ban for three positive PED tests:

Moylan had a bit of a down year last year, posting an ERA+ of 92. Mejia’s last ERA+ was 95. Five years ago. But hey, the Red Sox are probably saving, like, $100,000 or something going with the guy who hasn’t pitched since the first “Ant Man” movie was in theaters and, really, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Moving on, a lot of us are confused as to why Marwin Gonzalez hasn’t signed yet. We’re in an era where the multi-position player is more valuable than he ever has been, and Gonzalez is the best of that rare but highly-coveted bunch. You’d think, then, that someone would’ve snagged him already. Astros pitcher Collin McHugh, however, explains how, to the modern front office, maybe Gonzalez isn’t quite versatile enough:

Any thoughts Justin Verlander?

Baseball in 2019: feel the enthusiasm.

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.