Phillies Sign Yairo Munoz To Minor League Deal

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The Phillies have signed infield Yairo Munoz to a minor league deal, per the team’s transactions log at MLB.com. Munoz was outrighted off Boston’s 40-man roster in October and elected minor league free agency at season’s end, making him eligible to sign during the lockout.

Munoz, 27, has seen action in each of the past four MLB seasons, but with his playing time diminishing each year. After playing 108 games for the Cardinals in 2018, that went down to 88 in 2019. Munoz had shown some potential over those two seasons, slashing .273/.331/.391, with strikeout and walk rates of 21.2% and 7.3%. However, before the 2020 season, the Cardinals released Munoz when he left the team during spring training and flew home without notifying the club, reportedly dissatisfied with his lack of playing time.

He signed with the Red Sox a few weeks later and saw sporadic big league action with them over the past couple of seasons, 12 games in 2020 and five games last year. But in 88 Triple-A games last year, he hit .308/.340/.444, with a meager 4.2% walk rate but striking out in just 14.2% of his plate appearances. That amounted to a wRC+ of 109, along with 18 stolen bases to boot.

Munoz primarily lined up at third base last year, though also saw some time at second base, shortstop and all three outfield spots. For the Phillies, this is a no-risk way to improve their depth by taking a flier on a player who has some MLB experience but is still relatively young. They have some uncertainty in their infield mix, given the struggles of Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius last year. If either player carries those struggles into the future, Munoz could be in line for another shot at the show. Along the same lines, the Phils also signed Johan Camargo to a major league deal just before the lockout began in early December.

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