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.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.