Marlins sign infielder Neil Walker; designate reliever Nick Wittgren

Sun Sentinel

The Miami Marlins have signed versatile infielder Neil Walker to a one-year contract.

A 10-year veteran, Walker adds some power to Miami’s lineup, having hit at least 10 home runs in nine of the past 10 seasons. Walker, 33, spent last year with the Yankees, hitting .219/.309./.354 with 11 home runs and 12 doubles in 113 games.

Walker saw action at five different positions last season — first base, second base, third base, left field and right field. As a switch-hitter, he brings a left-handed bat to a lineup that is dangerously thin from that side of the plate. Shortstop J.T. Riddle is the only everyday lefty in the lineup.

Walker has also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers. He has a lifetime .268/.339/.430 slash line with 141 home runs during his 10-year career.

To make room for Walker on the 40-man roster, the Marlins designated reliever Nick Wittgren for assignment. The move seems odd, considering the right-hander is coming off a solid season where he posted a 2.92 ERA in 32 relief appearances. Wittgren, 27, also has three more years of team control.

#baseball, #professional

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