The Pirates agreed to a two-year, $12.75 million contract with left-hander Francisco Liriano in December, but the deal has yet to be finalized because he broke his right (non-throwing) arm in a bathroom fall. While FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported late last month that the two sides had agreed to a revised deal, it’s not quite done yet.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said yesterday that the club continues to negotiate with Liriano, but he was non-committal when asked whether a deal will be finalized prior to spring training.
“The process continues,” Huntington said. “We have ongoing conversations. I’m not an oddsmaker, so I don’t know if it is likely or unlikely that we will add another pitcher.”
The reported revised deal stipulated that Liriano would reduce his salary for 2013 if he missed any time on the disabled list due to his broken arm, but it’s clear that there’s still some difference of opinion. In fact, Tom Singer of MLB.com reported earlier this week that Liriano will likely end up coming to camp on a minor league deal. That’s some costly fall, though it’s possible that the Pirates just want to see him prove his health before they put pen to paper and add him on the 40-man roster.
Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. Jaso’s cycle is the first to be hit at PNC Park. It’s also the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.
Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.
Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 30 games with a single to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s win against the Phillies. Prior to that at-bat, he had grounded out, been hit by a pitch, and walked.
Freeman entered Wednesday night batting .382/.477/.673 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 24 runs scored over his past 29 games. Though his numbers are lacking compared to National League MVP Award favorite Kris Bryant, Freeman will get some top-five votes. On the season, he entered Wednesday hitting .307/.404/.576 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, and 99 runs scored in 673 plate appearances.
Freeman’s 30-game hitting streak is the longest such streak in the majors this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He has also reached base safely in 46 consecutive games.