The Pirates re-worked some language this week in Francisco Liriano’s two-year, $12.75 million free agent contract because of an undisclosed right arm fracture that he suffered in late December.
Now there’s a bit more information about how that injury happened courtesy of MLB.com beat writer Tom Singer and the newspaper El Caribe:
The mystery of Francisco Liriano’s broken right arm received some unsubstantiated clarification recently with a newspaper in his native Dominican Republic reporting he suffered it in a bathroom fall.
According to elcaribe.com.do, the newspaper’s website, Liriano fell days after the Dec. 21 agreement on his original two-year, $12.75 million contract with the Pirates, fracturing the humerus bone in the upper arm.
Citing a “source close to the player,” the report said Liriano’s right arm is in a cast. The report included no other details as to where or how exactly the left-handed pitcher had fallen.
Liriano is a left-handed pitcher, so the injury shouldn’t affect his ability to be ready for the start of the 2013 regular season. Which is why the total value of his initially-agreed-to $12.75 million deal did not change.
The 29-year-old will simply make a lesser salary in 2013 if the fracture somehow limits him.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.
File this under “man, that would’ve been cool.” Or, if you’re a Tigers fan, file it under “man, that would’ve signaled several years of misery.” However you fall on the matter, however, know that, according to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers inquired about trading for Justin Verlander over the winter.
It never went anywhere, but it’s not like it was silliness for the Dodgers to ask. As you may recall, the Tigers were reported to be willing to listen to offers on any and all players back in November, as GM Al Avila contemplated a tear-down. That never came to pass — the Tigers had a quiet offseason and are keeping the team together to make another run at the playoffs with the Verlander/Miguel Cabrera core — but it couldn’t hurt to ask.
Verlander, who is coming off a resurgent season which saw him return to form as one of baseball’s best pitchers, has 10-5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade. He’s married to an actress/model, however, owns a home in L.A., and the Dodgers are a clear contender, so there’s a good chance he would’ve allowed such a trade to happen. Heck, dude even loves pitchers batting, so a chance to do it all the time would be right up his alley.
The bigger issue likely would’ve been Verlander’s $28 million salary. The Dodgers already pay the luxury tax so taking on that commitment would cost them more than the sticker price. And, of course, if the Tigers are going to ever give up one of the best players in franchise history, it would take the motherlode of prospects to do it.
So, no, a Verlander-to-L.A. trade wasn’t ever a strong possibility. But even the slight possibility seems exciting in hindsight. It was a boring as hell offseason.