Two months after originally agreeing to a two year deal with the southpaw, the Pirates have finally made it official. Francisco Liriano was in Pittsburgh a few days ago to take his physical, which he passed, as he now becomes the newest member of the Buccos. The deal is a bit of an anomaly as Liriano is only guaranteed $1 mil this year with a chance to earn an additional $4.75 mil in incentives. Incentives which include, but are not limited to, staying off the disabled list. The original reported deal was a 2 yr pact for a total of $12.75 mil. Liriano can still earn every bit of that if his $8 mil option is triggered and incentives are met.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that if Liriano’s option year vests at $5 mil or $6 mil, he can earn the difference between that and the full $8 mil based on games started in 2014. Not a bad deal for an injury prone pitcher, but a pitcher that used to have some of the nastiest stuff we have ever seen. Luckily for Liriano, the injury he had was to his right arm (non throwing) and not his left.
Liriano split his 2012 season between the Twins and White Sox as Minnesota traded him to the divisional rival White Sox shortly before the trade deadline. He put up a 5.34 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 in 156 2/3 innings. It was the second consecutive season in which he posted an ERA greater than 5.
The former top prospect will join a nice rotation featuring A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald for a very young and talented Pittsburgh team that plays in a very winnable NL Central. SP, Vin Mazzaro was outrighted to AAA Inidnapolis to make room for Liriano on the active roster.