In a suspected move, the Pittsburgh Pirates officially declined the 2016 club option for right-handed reliever Radhames Liz today, as announced by the Pirates twitter account.
This comes as no surprise. Before the 2015 season, the Pirates made three noteworthy bullpen signings in trading for Antonio Bastardo and taking flyers on both Liz and Arquimedes Caminero. While both Caminero and Liz are hard-throwing reclamation projects, only Caminero was able to get major league batters out consistently.
Liz had some truly ugly lines as a Pirate, and finished with a 4.24 ERA in 14 appearances. Working primarily out of long-relief, Liz spent the majority of the year with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. After returning to the big league club in September, Liz was just as ineffective as he was prior to the demotion. Giving up four earned runs over six relief innings in the last month of the season would serve as the final nail in his coffin with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Going into the season, Liz was a very interesting story. Having been out of the big leagues since 2009, when he flamed out with the Baltimore Orioles, Liz found some success in the Korean KBO League which turned MLB eyes towards him again. Liz had the ability to stretch out to be a spot starter if needed, though he never had a chance to do so with the Bucs.
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