Report: Blue Jays acquire Francisco Liriano from the Pirates

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Update #2 (6:12 PM EDT): Catching prospect Reese McGuire will also head to the Blue Jays, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. McGuire was rated as the eighth-best prospect in the Jays’ system by MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old has hit .259/.337/.346 with 19 extra-base hits, 37 RBI, and 29 runs scored in 304 plate appearances with Double-A Altoona this season.

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Update (5:23 PM EDT): The Pirates will be receiving starter Drew Hutchison from the Jays in exchange for Liriano, outfield prospect Harold Ramirez, and an unknown player, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Hutchison, 25, has spent most of the year with Triple-A Buffalo, putting up a 3.26 ERA with a 110/35 K/BB ratio in 102 innings. He has 73 major league starts under his belt, but to the tune of a 4.92 ERA. He’ll have two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before becoming a free agent ahead of the 2019 season.

Ramirez, 21, was rated the Pirates’ ninth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. In 414 plate appearances with Double-A Altoona, Ramirez hit .306/.354/.401 with 25 extra-base hits, 49 RBI, and 58 runs scored.

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Robert Murray of Fan Rag Sports reports that the Blue Jays also beat the buzzer, picking up lefty starter Francisco Liriano from the Pirates. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms the deal. It’s Liriano and “prospects” to the Jays, per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates are expected to receive an “upper level” pitching prospect from the Jays, per Morosi.

Liriano, 32, has had a frustratingly inconsistent year. After putting up a 3.02 ERA in 2013 and 3.38 in both ’14 and ’15, the lefty regressed to a 5.46 ERA this season with a 116/69 K/BB ratio in 113 2/3 innings. Unsurprisingly, his 69 walks is a major league high — not nice.

Liriano is earning just under $14 million this season as well as next season, and can become a free agent heading into 2018.

The acquisition of Liriano could mean All-Star Aaron Sanchez and his 2.71 ERA over 21 starts are headed to the bullpen.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.