Originally written January 21, 2013 on Raise the Jolly Roger!:
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The Pirates are going to hold on to Francisco Liriano, according to Ken Rosenthal: Sources: #Pirates, Liriano have adjusted and finalized 2-year agreement. Liriano will assume risk due to injury to right (non-throwing) arm. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 21, 2013 If Liriano misses no time due to specific right arm injury, he still gets original $12.75M. First-year salary would reduce if he misses time — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 21, 2013 That seems like pretty good news to me, although we still don’t know the specifics of Liriano’s injury–which is obviously a big factor. The lefty hurt his right am in December after agreeing to (but before signing) a 2-year, $12.75 with the Bucs, and the deal seemed to be in serious jeopardy.  The key part of this new deal is that Liriano is assuming the risk of his injury, so the Bucs won’t be paying for damaged goods. Once Liriano is ready to go, he completes the Pirates’ rotation (along with Burnett, Rodriguez, McDonald, Karstens) and eliminates their need to rely on Jeff Locke or Kyle McPherson for the fifth spot. There’s still plenty of uncertainty with Liriano, Karstens, and McDonald, but having Locke and McPherson as depth (plus hopefully Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton later in the season) is a much better scenario than relying on them right away. As we’ve discussed, Liriano has not been very good in the last two years and is certainly a risk, but his high upside and strikeout ability make him a worthwhile addition. I still think it’s very strange that we haven’t heard any details on the severity of Liriano’s injury (which occurred in December), and it’s certainly possible that he could miss time this year, but given what we know today it seems like this is the best possible outcome–for now.
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