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.