Tom Singer has an article on the Pirates.com homepage about the non-roster invitees for Spring Training. In the article he has an interesting note about Francisco Liriano.
The Bucs’ NRI list currently includes 17, and there is at least one more on the way: Indications are that Francisco Liriano — when all the roadblocks to formalizing his signing are cleared — will wind up coming to camp on a Minor League deal and an invite.
Singer notes that the current 40-man roster is full, and that bringing in Liriano on a minor league deal would give the Pirates more time to make a 40-man roster decision.
If Liriano is ready by opening day, that decision would be easy. The Pirates will eventually open a spot on the 40-man when they place Charlie Morton on the 60-day disabled list. That type of move usually takes place during the final weeks of Spring Training. If Liriano was on a typical minor league deal, the Pirates wouldn’t have to add him to the 40-man roster until after Morton was eligible for the 60-day DL.
We heard last week that the Pirates and Liriano agreed to an updated deal, with Liriano’s 2013 salary potentially being reduced if he misses time due to his right-arm injury. So far we haven’t heard an official announcement on that deal.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Surely if its a minor league deal it wouldn’t be for 2 years right? I mean how would that even work?
Tim – if Liriano’s deal is a minor league deal with an invite, would that have any impact (beyond what has already happened with the injury) to his salary?
If he doesn’t come up on opening day, then he would receive a pro-rated amount from his salary. As long as he’s on a minor league deal he wouldn’t get paid his major league salary.
That would make a lot of sense. It would be hard to structure his deal to where his salary would be reduced based on the time he missed from this injury. But if he’s on a minor league deal, they’d just wait to call him up when healthy, and that’s when he’d start earning the major league salary.