Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 12/22/12
Royals_vs_twins_adcf
Some quick hits tonight in the aftermath of the Francisco Liriano deal. I was on the road most of the day today, and had a lot of time to think about the fallout from this deal. **I mentioned earlier that I felt the Francisco Liriano deal was a good risk for the Pirates to take. I was on TribLIVE Radio this afternoon further discussing the deal.  Liriano is a great gamble for the Pirates to take. He’s definitely got some concerns with his high walk rate the last two years and his high ERAs. However, his advanced metrics are usually much better than his ERA, he strikes out a batter per inning, and he’s a lefty with an above average ground ball rate. Those last bits will give him an advantage pitching half of his games in PNC Park. He’s only 29, so he shouldn’t be on any sort of decline during his two years with the team. The main issue will be fixing his control. I noticed a few people drawing similarities to A.J. Burnett. I think the situations are similar if you look at them as guys with ERAs that were much higher than their FIP numbers. Both pitchers also had strong seasons prior to their recent struggles. But the issues were different. Burnett was getting hit around too much. Liriano struggles with control and doesn’t strand enough runners. If the Pirates, and specifically Ray Searage, can do something with Liriano’s control, he could turn into a steal. There’s definitely the possibility that this move blows up in their face. But it’s high risk/high reward. The risk comes with the money, and the potential reward comes if Liriano can turn things around with a move to the NL and PNC Park. As for the money, I’m not sure it’s outrageous. If you look at the contracts being handed out recently, Liriano’s seems reasonable. Mike Adams just received two years and $12 M as a set-up man. Liriano is making about $400 K more per year as a starter. Kevin Correia received two years and $10 M. Correia is a pretty safe #4-5 starter in a bad rotation, and he has little chance of being more than that. Liriano is making about $1.4 M more per year, and has much more upside. Scott Baker is a similar pitcher to Liriano: good strikeout numbers, FIP better than his ERA, and injury concerns. He recently received $5.5 M with incentives, and he will miss the opening of the season due to recovering from Tommy John surgery. Considering those deals, and other deals, two years and $12.75 M for Liriano seems perfectly reasonable. **Now that Liriano is set to be signed, the Pirates don’t have a big need for a starting pitcher in a Joel Hanrahan trade return. The rumors are already out that Pittsburgh is looking for shortstops. If they could get a young shortstop prospect for one year of Hanrahan, I’d be surprised. **The starting rotation now has A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, Francisco Liriano, and one of Jeff Locke or Kyle McPherson. That’s looking like a potentially strong rotation. The wild cards will be McDonald and Liriano. If McDonald pitches more like his 2012 first half and Liriano can see a turn around, the Pirates could be strong contenders. If McDonald is closer to his 2012 second half and Liriano puts up similar numbers to 2011-2012, the Pirates could be turning to Gerrit Cole to fill one of those spots by mid-season. The rotation is also pretty diverse. Burnett was added as a salary dump for two minor prospects. Rodriguez was added for three actual prospects. McDonald was added when he was sort of a prospect, and regained his former status after moving to the Pirates. Liriano is a free agent signing. Locke and McPherson have mostly been developed in the Pirates’ system, although Locke was originally acquired in a trade when he was in A-ball. **With no other moves, the 2013 payroll will be over $70 M. I’d expect Hanrahan to be moved, so that number should come down, unless they pick up salary or add a player who adds salary. Links and Notes **The 2013 Prospect Guide is now available. Order your copy today! **Baseball America looked at breakout prospects Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco. They then named ten international players who could breakout in 2013. Number one on the list? Dilson Herrera. We’ve got him as the most likely to have a Hanson/Polanco breakout in 2013 in the recently released Prospect Guide. **Pirates to Sign Francisco Liriano. **Joel Hanrahan Friday Rumors: Pirates Now Looking at Shortstops? **Winter Leagues Recap: Fuesser Strong In Loss. **A good read from FanGraphs on the slow death of ERA, and how pitchers with a strong FIP are getting paid.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Here are your 2015 All-Star reserves and pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks president threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

ESPYs golf classic moving from Trump course

Report: Pierre-Paul could miss training camp, start of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Spurs sign David West

Report: Marc Gasol signs five-year deal with Grizzlies

Manu Ginobili announces he will return next season

Robinson Cano dealing with stomach ailment all season

Tony Romo on Dez Bryant's contract: 'I think it will work out'

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Bridgewater on Vikings: 'we’re not as good as what we think'

Floyd Mayweather Officially Stripped Of Welterweight Title

Mo Williams signs 2-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Carli Lloyd had vision she would score four goals in World Cup Final

Carli Lloyd needs help to carry all her World Cup awards

Russell Wilson abstaining from sex with girlfriend Ciara

Coach K on meeting Beyonce for first time: 'I felt like 13'

Three-star TE Michael Irvin Jr. commits to Miami

Bryce Harper skipping HR Derby because of dad's injury

Braves the most interesting team to watch at the deadline?

Video shows FSU QB De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.