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Astros acquire Aaron Sanchez, Joe Biagini for Derek Fisher

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Hey, did you hear that the Astros picked up a starter? Big name. Aaron Sanchez.

OK, fine, he wasn’t the biggest starter they picked up in the last half hour, but it’s still an acquisition! The Astros have sent Derek Fisher to Toronto in exchange for Sanchez and reliever Joe Biagini.

Sanchez is 3-14 with an ugly 6.07 ERA in 23 starts this year. His velocity is down as is his ground ball rate. It’s hard to see where he fits on the Astros staff, but the Astros have a reputation for fixing broken pitchers, so maybe they can do things to him that’ll help him regain his form from his All-Star 2016 season.

Biagini, who has bounced back and forth between the Jays’ pen and rotation over the years is all-reliever these days and has a 3.86 ERA in 49 appearances.

Fisher, once a top Astros prospect, has never really developed the way people thought he might. He’s hitting .226/.317/.358 for an 81 OPS+ which is around about where he’s been over his three year big league career.

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.