In what many expect to be the final deal of the day, Robert Murray of FanRag Sports is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a deal that would send veteran starter Francisco Liriano to Toronto.
Source: Blue Jays get Liriano from Pirates
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) August 1, 2016
Jon Morosi of FOXSports later added that the deal would see Liriano and a pair of prospects to Toronto, in exchange for an upper-level prospect.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 1, 2016
This move comes as a little bit of a surprise, given that there was very little buzz surrounding the 32-year-old southpaw. That said, the Blue Jays have expressed interest in him in the past.
Liriano is going through his worst season as a Pirate this season, and his worst year since 2012. In 21 starts, Liriano is 6-11 with a 5.46 ERA in 113.2 innings of work. For his career, Liriano is a tick over .500 with a 94-90 record. He also owns a solid 4.09 ERA in nearly 1500 career innings.
In return, the Pirates will acquire minor-league pitcher Drew Hutchinson.
Hutchinson, 25, has long been a target of the Pirates. Now, they’ve got him. Currently providing minor-league depth for the Jays, the right-hander figures to slide into the Pirates rotation. Hutchinson has played in the major leagues off-and-on for nearly four seasons, with his amount of playing time equivalent to almost two-and-a-half seasons. Over that span, he has compiled a 30-21 record with a 4.92 ERA in 406.1 innings of work.
It’s unclear at the moment who the prospects heading to Toronto are.
This is the second deal today for the Blue Jays that has involved veteran starting pitching. These moves indicate that Toronto is truly serious about limiting the innings of 24-year-old Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez is enjoying a breakout year this season, recording a fantastic 11-1 record with an American League-leading 2.71 ERA. The problem? Sanchez’s career-high in innings is 133.1, a number that he has already surpassed by six. Dating back to spring training, the Jays have tossed around the idea of moving the youngster to the bullpen late in the season. After today’s moves for Scott Feldman and now Liriano, it appears that Toronto is seriously considering that possibility.