The Pirates winter took a half step back today, as they "put on hold" their plans to sign free agent lefthander Francisco Liriano. Liriano apparently injured his right (non-throwing) arm in late December. Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington could not reveal the nature nor severity of the injury, citing medical privacy laws according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviews' Rob Biertempfel. The former Twins and White Sox hurler was expected to sign a two-year contract, and to vie for as high as a three slot in the Pirates rotation.
But for now, Huntington says, “We continue to have dialogue with Francisco‘s (agent), but there is nothing to announce at this time.”
Liriano has a 53-54 lifetime record. His career started with a sparkling 12-3 rookie year. Arm troubles have kept him from ever pitching 200 innings in a single season, and the last two seasons Liriano had losing records and ERA's above 5.00.
Liriano had never been officially announced as a Pirate. Certainly, the Pirates front office will do a lot more homework on the 29-year-old Dominican native."We announce and acknowledge transactions when they are official," Huntington said. "News of any agreement never came from us." That sounds like back peddling to me.