Francisco Liriano turned his career around in Pittsburgh and now he’s staying with the Pirates, as Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors reports that the free agent left-hander has agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal.
Liriano was a buy-low pickup for the Pirates two offseasons ago and provided a huge return on a minimal investment, starting 55 games with a 3.20 ERA and 338 strikeouts in 323 innings to re-emerge as one of the most dominant lefties around.
Liriano rejected the Pirates’ one-year, $15.1 million qualifying offer last month, so any other team signing him would have had to give up a draft pick to do so. Pittsburgh doesn’t have to give up anything and now has Liriano signed for similar annual money and a shorter deal than guys like Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, and Ubaldo Jimenez received last winter.
In his column for the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson reports that the Marlins have discussed trading starter Nathan Eovaldi to the Diamondbacks for starter Wade Miley. Jackson adds that the Marlins also have interest in free agent pitchers Francisco Liriano and Brandon Morrow.
Miley, 28, was the runner-up in National League Rookie of the Year balloting in 2012. He turned in the worst season of his young career this past season, finishing with a 4.34 ERA and a 183/75 K/BB ratio in 201 1/3 innings.
Eovaldi, 24, also struggled, particularly in the second half of the 2014 season. He finished with a 4.37 ERA and a 142/43 K/BB ratio in 199 2/3 innings.
Both pitchers would become eligible for free agency after the 2017 season.
Pittsburgh has done great work recently turning around the careers of pitchers, grabbing guys like Francisco Liriano, Vance Worley, and Edinson Volquez off the scrap heap and getting tremendous value out of them at low costs.
Now the Pirates will try to do the same with Radhames Liz, a one-time Orioles top prospect who left MLB for Korea after posting a 7.50 ERA in 110 innings from 2007-2009.
Liz spent three seasons pitching in Korea, posting a 3.57 ERA, and then returned to America at Double-A and Triple-A for the Blue Jays this season. He pitched pretty well with a 2.95 ERA in 12 starts, but his 44/24 K/BB ratio in 61 innings was nothing special.
He throws hard and the Pirates think enough of Liz’s upside at age 31 that they gave him a big-league contract with a spot on the 40-man roster.
Liz was the No. 69 prospect on Baseball America’s top-100 list for 2008, three spots behind Max Scherzer and two spots behind Chris Tillman.