The Pirates have agreed to contract terms with LHP Francisco Liriano on a two-year deal worth a reported $14 million.
I saw Liriano pitch before his first Tommy John surgery. Until Stephen Strasburg came along, I'd never seen any pitcher at any level with better stuff. In a repertoire of four or five pitches, he threw a fastball at 96 miles an hour that danced all over the strike zone. Those days are long gone.
Here's the current scouting report on Francisco Liriano:
1) He will walk or strike out every hitter.
2) Every ball in play he allows is a home run.
3) Control is an illusion.
I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Liriano as a player. His stuff is amazing, and he's kind of a headcase. I don't even dislike the length of this contract. But to give a 29-year-old lefty who walks five guys a game $14 million strikes me as weirdly desperate, especially with guys like Chris Leroux, Kyle McPherson and Jeff Locke -- all younger, all cost-controlled and all with substantially lower walk rates -- at the ready, this seems strange. Ostensibly, Liriano is a shorter, crazier Oliver Perez. I don't hate the signing, but I don't think it makes any particular sense. This guy can be fun to watch and he has a reputation for being kind of a hothead, but he's not very reliable, and he walks a ton of hitters.
Whatever. I'm sure the Pirates and their mental conditioning can whip Franky into shape.
Too Much Homework Makes Me Sick