Liriano injures arm, potential deal with Pirates jeopardized
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BRADENTON, Fla. -- Free agent left-hander Francisco Liriano injured his right arm over the holidays, Pirates general manger Neal Huntington said Tuesday, jeopardizing Liriano's agreement with the team.
It was not immediately clear how severely Liriano hurt his arm, or whether he injured himself during workouts or baseball-related activities. Huntington declined to comment further on the injury.
In late December, Liriano and the Pirates were close to agreeing on a two-year contract worth $12.75 million.
Liriano's agent, Greg Genske, did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment. Huntington said the Pirates remained in contact with Genske.
If the Pirates do not sign Liriano, 29, their rotation might become younger and less experienced. Kyle McPherson and Jeff Locke, who were projected to compete for the final spot behind A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald and Liriano, both could find their way into the rotation.
The Pirates also have Zach Stewart, Vin Mazzaro and Andrew Oliver, young pitchers acquired via trades in the offseason, as options.
Huntington said last month at PirateFest the trio will report to spring training ready enough to compete for the rotation if necessary.
If Liriano signs, he will provide the Pirates with a talented yet erratic left-hander who has had experience at the major league level and periods of success, but whose command has hampered him the past two seasons.
Liriano pitched for the Minnesota Twins for parts of seven seasons before the Twins traded him to the Chicago White Sox last year.
After recording a 3.62 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 1912/3 innings in 2010, Liriano allowed an average of five walks or more per nine innings and had an ERA of more than 5.00 each of the past two seasons.
NOTE -- Right-hander Rick van den Hurk, released Jan. 4 by the Pirates, signed a one-year contract with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Association, according to a tweet from his agency, the Beverly Hills Sports Council. Van den Hurk, 27, appeared in four games in the major leagues last season for the Pirates. He had a 2.92 ERA in 21 games, 19 starts, for Class AAA Indianapolis in 2012.
First Published January 9, 2013 12:00 am