So, the Francisco Liriano deal might not be a deal after all. All that possible upside of a veteran southpaw throwing at PNC Park might be washed away in a physical that never happened. We used a picture of Wandy Rodriguez in our photoshop mainly because it’s a classic picture that defines yet another horrid second half of a Pittsburgh Pirates season.
The pic of Wandy’s facepalm should also serve as a reminder that Rodriguez was perhaps the most impactful move the Bucs have made in recent history. The move was made on July 24 rescuing him from the worst team in Major League Baseball–the Houston Astros.
The bad news was over the final two months of the 2012 season, the Pirates had a worse record than the Astros. (Just a reminder everyone that this team was really bad when it mattered most last year)
Look, we understand that Liriano was expected to likely fill the three spot in the middle of the Pirates’ rotation for now. It wasn’t that we felt like Liriano was going to pitch like the two pitchers ahead of him in A.J. Burnett and lefty Wandy Rodriguez. The left hander may not even pitch as well as the man presumed to be behind him in James McDonald. We simply loved the possible upside of Liriano in the rotation.
We are on record as being a fan of the Liriano deal. You won’t find an article targeting Liriano earlier than ours this offseason. So what if we heard a birdie. But seriously, we felt (feel?) Liriano would have gotten a few benefits from the players behind him, mainly Starling Marte and Clint Barmes. We also think some Ray Searage love would have helped him. PNC Park should help reduce some of those 18 bombs given up by right handed hitters last year.
We could throw all kinds of numbers out, most of Liriano’s are bad the past two seasons, of course that’s why the Pirates are even in this dilemma–that’s why he was reportedly coming to Pittsburgh. The upside is what is intriguing, but if Liriano goes away, we don’t think the offseason will be lost.
Well, wait…based on who the backup plan is. And we don’t think Jeff Karstens is the back up plan. The Bucs have information that tells them that Karstens is a risk. We don’t know what that information is, but it’s out there. Let’s trust the Bucs are right about it.
We also feel that if the team makes an agressive move to get Liriano even with this mysterious injury, the club feels strongly that Liriano can be fixed. We would have to think the GM and probably Bill Livesey feel strongly that Liriano is worth the (relatively speaking) low risk based on the upside that many people see in this deal.
Hell, Liriano may not even pitch at all in black and gold this year, but looking closer, if someone had a Desert Eagle to our temple, we say this deal looks like it will still get done. Perhaps it becomes a one-year deal, that would certainly make Bob Nutting a lot more comfortable.
So you won’t find me losing sleep over the deal, but damn. Damn. Is anything ever simple for this club?
I’m going to place my palm over my face now too. Carry on.