A bit surprising, but the Astros appear to have looked into trading for the Blue Jays Francisco Liriano.
The 33-year-old left-hander Francisco Liriano is not having the best year, but he does have experience. He pitched in the playoffs on three different occasions for the Twins, Pirates and Blue Jays. He has a 2-0 playoff record and a 3.97 ERA during these appearances. However, why would the Astros have an interest in Liriano?
Diamond in the Rough
According to Chris Cotillo, the Astros have been linked to Liriano. One of the best things about Jeff Luhnow and his staff, they find value in places we are not apt to look. We must keep in mind that he found Marwin Gonzalez, and we all know how well that is going for us.
Most importantly, the price for Liriano may not be as high as other pitchers. I see why the Astros would inquire about him. Liriano is capable, but is it possible for him to be the pitcher we have seen before?
The Competitive Market
The Astros will have to contend with other teams growing more involved over the next few days. So, his name is floating for others to take note. Depending on what happens, the Dodgers, Yankees, and Mariners can through their names in the hat.
According to Jon Morosi, the Royals currently stand as the team making the strongest move for Liriano. The Astros would much rather not see a playoff contender bring in another left-handed starting pitcher, as they are currently 15-13 when facing them.
Is This a Need?
Collin McHugh has returned. Dallas Keuchel will pitch this Friday. The core rotation we entered the season with is available. So, why seek Liriano or any other starting pitcher? Well, it can be a simple move to add depth or to maintain oversight on the trade market. The Astros have a reason to keep an eye on everything.
The interesting thing about Liriano, he could take an expanded role in the bullpen during the playoffs. He can be the left-handed reliever we need, and provide extended relief outings if necessary.
Editor’s note: Clint brings up some reasons to go after Liriano, but the team is looking to make a big splash. Would Liriano be the difference maker? Luhnow will not overpay for a pitcher and is content on riding with what they got according to Jerry Crasnick. But for the right price?
***Stats and Data Courtesy of Baseball-Reference, Jon Morosi, and Chris Cotillo***