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Dodgers sign Andrew Friedman to extension

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Over the weekend, the Dodgers signed president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to a contract extension, Jon Heyman reported. Details of the contract are not yet known but his previous deal was for $35 million over five years (then a record), so his new contract figures to be better than that.

Friedman, 43, joined the Dodgers after the 2014 season. His five seasons in Los Angeles have been some of the best in Dodgers history as the club won 104 games in 2017 and a franchise record 106 games this past season. The Dodgers reached the World Series in back-to-back years in 2017-18 but lost both times to the Astros and Red Sox.

Friedman was part of the Rays organization from 2004-14, serving initially as the director of baseball development for the first two years before being named GM. He helped the Rays reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history in 2008, ultimately losing the World Series to the Phillies. The Rays, in fact, made the postseason four times in six years from 2008-13 despite operating with one of baseball’s lowest payrolls.

Despite having access to much more money with the Dodgers, Friedman’s front office has been relatively frugal. They have re-signed players but outfielder A.J. Pollock (four years, $55 million) has been the club’s biggest expenditure on outside talent. The Dodgers plan to stay under the competitive balance tax threshold through at least 2022.

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.