ATHENS, Ga. -- The Pirates made official their contract with left-hander Francisco Liriano late Friday night, ending more than a month of uncertainty.
Liriano joined the Pirates on a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2014 after passing his physical earlier Friday.
Liriano will make $1 million guaranteed in 2013, according to a source, and can make as much as $3.75 million more depending on how much time he spends on the disabled list due to his broken right humerus.
The team has a 2014 option worth $8 million that could also vest at $5 million, $6 million or $8 million, also based on time spent on the DL in 2013 due to the arm injury.
If Liriano's 2014 option vests for less than $8 million, he can make up the difference with incentives based on games started in '14.
The Pirates sent right-hander Vin Mazzaro outright to Class AAA Indianapolis to make room for Liriano on the 40-man roster.
Liriano, 29, originally agreed to a two-year, $12.75 million contract in late December, but did not take his physical before he broke his arm.
While Liriano recovers, Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson will compete for the final spot in the Pirates' rotation behind A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald and Jeff Karstens. The fight for a rotation spot will intensify in the second half of the season, when Charlie Morton should be ready to return after Tommy John ligament replacement surgery and top prospect Gerrit Cole may be ready to make his debut.
The Pirates prepared for the possibility that they would not sign Liriano by bringing back Karstens and adding left-hander Jonathan Sanchez on a minor league contract. Their 40-man roster is full and they must make a corresponding move when adding Liriano.
Liriano can strike out batters, but has struggled with his control in recent seasons. He walked at least 75 batters in each of the past two seasons.
He pitched 1912/3 innings in 2010, when he struck out 201 batters with a 3.62 ERA, but had a combined 5.23 ERA in 2011 and '12.
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @BrinkPG.
First Published February 9, 2013 5:15 AM