After signing Drew Storen to a minor league contract, the Phillies went ahead and added two more pitchers to minor league deals, opening up competition for spots in the bullpen. The Phillies added Bud Norris and left-hander Francisco Liriano to the fold with minor league deals that include invitations to Spring Training. Like Storen, Norris did not pitch in the majors last season, while Liriano pitched in 69 games with the Pirates last season, working to a 3.47 ERA.
The 36-year old Liriano made his MLB debut with the Twins back in 2005, pitching in six games, four of which were starts. Over 14 seasons, Liriano has pitched in 419 games with 300 of them being as a starter. Last season was the first that he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen, but he did work exclusively as a reliever with the Houston Astros in 2017 after being dealt to Houston from Toronto at the trade deadline. In 2018, he signed with Detroit and made 26 starts and one relief appearance going 5-12 with a 4.58 ERA.
Norris, 34, went to spring training with the Blue Jays last season and was given a $100-thousand retention bonus, but later negotiated his release when he felt he was ready to pitch at the major league level and Toronto wanted him to pitch in the minors. After that, Washington was interested in him, but Norris reportedly refused to sign a minor league deal and the two sides didn’t get any deal completed. The last time that Norris pitched in the majors was 2018 when he pitched in 68 games with St. Louis and went 3-6 with a 3.59 ERA, saving 28 games. He recorded his first major league save in 2017 as a member of the Angels when he saved 19 games and pitched to a 4.21 ERA.
In his MLB career, which started with Houston in 2009, Norris has pitched in 188 games as a starter and 167 in relief. Overall, he is 67-90 with a 4.45 ERA and 47 saves.