Jhoulys Chacin
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Red Sox sign Jhoulys Chacín to minors deal

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The Red Sox have inked free agent right-hander Jhoulys Chacín to a minor league deal, per an announcement on Saturday. Chacín was released by the Brewers last Sunday and threw a bullpen session in front of the Red Sox on Friday, evidently performing well enough to earn a contract offer.

Chacín’s release from Milwaukee wasn’t entirely unexpected. Despite making some significant contributions to the club in 2018, the 31-year-old righty pitched to mixed results during his 2019 campaign and finished his run with a 3-10 record in 19 starts and a 5.79 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 across 88 2/3 innings. Speaking to the media last week, manager Craig Counsell gave a few reasons for Chacín’s removal: namely, the Brewers’ substantial reserves of pitching depth and their pressing need to clear a roster spot for the returning Cory Spangenberg.

It didn’t help, either, that Chacín missed considerable time off the mound after spending nearly two months on the injured list. He sustained a low back strain in early June, costing him two weeks on the IL, then was laid up with a right oblique strain in late July. Given his ongoing health issues and deteriorating results on the mound, it looked far from certain that he would be able to rebound in time to contribute in a meaningful way to the Brewers’ hopeful postseason run.

Now, however, he’ll try to bounce back for Boston in the final month of the season. According to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, there are no current plans to call up the veteran right-hander when the Red Sox finish out their series in Anaheim this weekend, but he’ll likely see his first MLB assignment with the team sometime after rosters expand on September 1.

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.