Francisco Liriano held the Cubs to two runs on four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts over a nine-inning complete game. The lefty lowered his ERA to 2.20 in his 11th start of the season as he continues to top the list of baseball’s best off-season bargains.
Liriano started off the bottom of the ninth on a good note, making a great snag on a sharp grounder hit right back up the middle by Dioner Navarro. Liriano, falling towards third base perpendicular to the plate, stuck his glove between his legs. He hesitated for a moment, perhaps in shock that the ball found leather, before firing a strike to first baseman Gaby Sanchez with Navarro no more than 40 feet up the first base line.
Watch the play:
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.