Rob Longley tells us that the Blue Jays have signed Francisco Liriano to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. It is 2016 all over again.
Liriano is 37. He last pitched in the majors for the Pirates in 2019, getting into 69 games, with a 3.47 ERA in 70 innings. He walked 35 and struck out 63. He could fill a lefty from the bullpen role.
He’s had 14 years in the majors, pitching in 419 games, 300 starts with a 4.15 ERA. Parts of two of those seasons were with the Blue Jays.
We picked him up on August 1st, 2016 in a trade from the Pirates. He, Reese McGuire, and Harold Ramirez came over for Drew Hutchison. Hutchison threw 11 innings for the Pirates.
Then, at the deadline in 2017, we shipped him to the Astros for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez. I gotta call that one a win for the Jays. Aoki didn’t last long but Hernandez has become a power-hitting outfielder.
You might remember that Liriano was the winning pitcher in our Wild Card game against the Orioles in 2016, he pitched 1.2 perfect and was the pitcher of record when Edwin Encarnacion hit the walk-off homer off Ubaldo Jimenez in the 11th inning.
We have been missing a Francisco, so welcome back to this one. It would be ok with me if you got the win in a playoff game again.