Astros Strike a Deal for Francisco Liriano

TORONTO, ON - JULY 24: Francisco Liriano
TORONTO, ON - JULY 24: Francisco Liriano /

The Astros finally make their move before the MLB trade deadline.

According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Astros traded for left-handed pitcher, Fransico Liriano, from the Toronto Blue Jays. Thus essentially confirms Ken Rosenthal’s earlier report.

It was previously mentioned here on Climbing Tal’s Hill that Liriano may take a role as a relief pitcher if Houston somehow acquired him.

Thanks in part to Tony Sipp’s struggles, in particular Sunday, this idea may be realized soon. In theory, Liriano provides the pitching staff with a left-handed matchup, and the ability to eat innings.

Liriano’s background

The 33 year-old left-hander has a 6-5 record, with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.621 WHIP. He throws a two-season fastball, sinker, slider and change-up. Liriano fits the profiel of other Astros pitchers. He is a ground ball, contact thrower. He has a .615 OPS against left-handed hitters.

So, there is upside.

What it cost

Brian McTaggart reported the Astros will send Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez to the Blue Jays.

However, this comes with no surprise with the development of Derek Fisher. We have all seen how electric Fisher is on the field. Better yet, Fisher will now have the opportunity to see at-bats regularly and further develop as the Astros head towards the postseason.

How this helps the Astros

So, this, in theory, could be a great trade.

General manager Jeff Lunhow was able to turn a waiver claim into an asset for Houston’s deadline needs. However, Liriano does not quite fit this need, but we have to look closer. He pitches well against left-handed hitters.

Liriano will also throw multiple innings if necessary. Most importantly, the Astros didn’t have to send a top-tier prospect in this deal.

Next: Astros: How the Cubs trade for Wilson affects the Stros

All in all, the front office acquired help for the pitching staff without sending away much in young talent. Liriano may not be the big name fans wished to add, but he will be viable for the rest of the season.

**Statistics and information courtesy of Brooks Baseball and Fangraphs **