Liriano injured; Pirates signing on hold
BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates' plan to sign free-agent left-hander Francisco Liriano was put on hold — perhaps permanently — when the pitcher injured his right arm sometime around Christmas.
General manager Neal Huntington on Tuesday confirmed the injury. But, citing medical privacy laws, Huntington declined to say how Liriano got hurt or whether the injury would prevent him from being ready for the start of spring training Feb. 12.
“We continue to have dialogue with Francisco's (agent), but there is nothing to announce at this time,” Huntington said.
On Dec. 21, the Pirates and Liriano agreed to the framework of a two-year, $12.75 million contract. The deal was pending the completion of a physical exam by Liriano, who lives in the Dominican Republic in the offseason.
Liriano, 29, pitched last year for the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox and went a combined 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.468 WHIP. He has a fastball that touches 95 mph but also has put up a plus-5.00 ERA and averaged five walks per nine innings each of the past two seasons.
The Pirates wanted Liriano to fill the No. 3 spot in their starting rotation behind veterans A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez. Righty James McDonald, who was erratic last year, would have gone into the No. 4 slot, with one of two rookies — Kyle McPherson or Jeff Locke — in the final spot. Chris Leroux could be an option because the Pirates plan to convert him from a reliever to a starter during spring training.
Right-hander Charlie Morton is recovering from Tommy John surgery and isn't expected back until midseason at the earliest. Management would prefer to have top pitching prospect Gerrit Cole begin the season at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Kyle Lohse, Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders are the top free agents still available. The Pirates could try to re-sign Jeff Karstens, whom they non-tendered in November. Huntington also did not rule out standing pat with his current mix of pitchers.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt notebook: Expanded game plan likely awaits Iowa
- Pirates notebook: Morton to start Tuesday against Red Sox
- Rare triple play sparks Pirates’ comeback victory over Cubs
- Pirates notebook: Holdzkom’s wild ride continues
- Biertempfel: In wild-card game, Cole must get call
- Sunday’s scouting report: Cubs at Pirates
- Bucs’ rally falls short vs. young Cubs
- Pirates notebook: Alvarez likely out for rest of regular season
- Thursday’s scouting report: Pirates at Phillies
- Saturday’s scouting report: Cubs at Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Pitch could be more than change of pace for Cole