Daniel Hudson
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Report: Blue Jays to sign Daniel Hudson

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The Blue Jays are in agreement with free agent reliever Daniel Hudson on a one-year deal, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported Sunday. The righty previously inked a minors deal with the Angels in February, but did not make the Opening Day roster as a non-roster invitee and was subsequently released on Friday. The Blue Jays have yet to officially confirm the signing.

Hudson, 32, spent his 2018 run with the Dodgers and turned in a 4.11 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 8.6 SO/9, and career-worst -0.1 fWAR through 46 innings. His underwhelming performance was further hampered by a lingering bout of right forearm soreness, which effectively kept him off of the mound from mid-August through the end of the season and prevented him from joining the team during their pennant-clinching campaign in the postseason.

Per Davidi, Hudson will be added to a bullpen that already features right-handers Joe Biagini and Bud Norris, left-hander Tim Mayza, and closer Ken Giles. They may see right-handed set-up man Ryan Tepera return to the ‘pen relatively soon, too, as he is unlikely to undergo surgery after experiencing a troubling case of elbow inflammation. As a whole, the Blue Jays’ relief corps will look to bounce back from a poor showing in 2018, when they ranked eighth-worst in the league with a collective 4.45 ERA, 4.32 FIP, and 1.6 fWAR.

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.