With just a few hours left before the non-waiver trade deadline, Francisco Liriano has been traded to the Houston Astros.
The Blue Jays finally made a deal leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, sending Francisco Liriano to the Houston Astros in exchange for a yet to be named return. The rumoured deal was first announced by Ken Rosenthal, and Shi Davidi was on it being done, pending a physical. Davidi also mentioned that the return would be an outfielder coming from Houston.
Liriano spent roughly one season with the Blue Jays, having come to them in a trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates during last year’s stretch run. The Blue jays sent Drew Hutchison their way in exchange, and the Jays also received outfielder Harold Ramirez and catcher Reese McGuire, both solid prospects in their own right.
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Liriano pitched to the tune of a 2.92 ERA in his eight starts and 10 appearances in 2016, before struggling this year. He spent time on the disabled list, and never found his groove in 2017, at least not for any extended stretches. He’s looked better lately though, which likely lead to the trade interest.
For the year, Liriano had a 6-5 record with a 5.88 ERA in 18 starts and 82.1 innings pitched. Of course, a few of those starts were cut short by injury, making the numbers look even worse than they actually were.
Trading Liriano certainly makes sense for the Blue Jays, as they appear to be out of contention in this year’s playoff race, and he’s also on an expiring contract. If the Blue Jays do find themselves back in the race, it’s debatable if Liriano was overly helpful to them anyway, at least in their rotation. He has performed well against LH hitters this season, and it sounds like the Astros are planning on using him out of the bullpen.
Jon Morosi is also backing Davidi’s report on the trade. We’ll keep you posted as soon as the return is named, and the deal is officially confirmed by either club.
Update– It sounds like Nori Aoki is coming back in the deal, in addition to a minor leaguer. We’ll include the final details as they come in.