Yesterday, Buster Olney wrote that the tipping point for the Francisco Liriano bidding could come down to three or four years. Liriano might have difficulty finding a team to give him four years, due to his lack of consistency, and the fact that he has never pitched 200 innings. He hasn’t pitched more than 162 innings in each of his last five years, and has only topped that total once, throwing 191.2 innings in 2010.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has another update on Liriano. He talked to a few teams who feel that Liriano getting a four- or five-year deal seems far-fetched. He also said that the Pirates appear to only be interested for three years. That gives an answer to the question I had yesterday, wondering if the Pirates were a team that could go four years to sign the lefty.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Pirates don’t need to sign Liriano specifically. They need a good pitcher for the top of their rotation, and Liriano fits that bill. If he signs elsewhere, they will have other options, such as Brandon McCarthy and Ervin Santana in free agency, and plenty of options available on the trade market. The team seems to prefer Liriano to everyone else, and they’ve been said to be making him a priority. Nothing should be expected to happen on the Liriano front until Jon Lester signs and kicks off the starting pitching market.