Toronto Blue Jays Trade Francisco Liriano to the Houston Astros

 

The Toronto Blue Jays have moved left-handed and soon-to-be free agent SP Francisco Liriano to the Houston Astros.

 

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In their first move at the 2017 trade deadline the Toronto Blue Jays have moved soon-to-be free agent pitcher, Francisco Liriano. Though it doesn’t come as much of a surprise, the fact he was moved the Houston Astros adds a little intrigue as they were not mentioned as a team deemed with interest in the lefty.

 

Liriano was a great addition to the Blue Jays last year at the deadline putting up a 2.92 ERA over 10 games, while posting a very respectable 9.5 K/9 and WHIP of 1.176. Both were drastic improvements over the start to his season in Pittsburgh. The 2017 season, however, was less kind to the lefty as he battled a series of injuries (shoulder inflammation, sore neck) that cause him to spend some time on the disabled list.

 

Standard Pitching
Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS IP R ER ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2016 TOR 2 2 .500 2.92 10 8 49.1 22 16 147 3.98 1.176 7.7 1.3 2.9 9.5 3.25
2017 TOR 6 5 .545 5.88 18 18 82.2 57 54 78 4.72 1.621 9.9 1.2 4.7 8.1 1.72

 

Liriano struggled for the majority of the 2017 posting a bWAR of 0.0, 4.7 BB/9, and a 5.88 ERA over 18 starts. When considering his free agency status along with his $13.67 MM contract it made sense for the club to cut its ties when the they had the ability to do so.

 

This also leaves a hole in the Blue Jays starting rotation that will have be filled in the neat future. Candidates to replace Liriano look to be on the roster right now with Mike Bolsinger and Joe Biagini should they choose. Other options also include calling up a series of pitchers from the minor leagues to have them audition for the 2018 season. If this were the case look for the name Chris Rowley to make an appearance on the major league roster. The 26-year-old right-hander has posted a 1.48 ERA over ten games as a starter for both New Hampshire and Buffalo this season.

 

THE RETURN:

In return for the lefty veteran, the Blue Jays have a received OF Norichika Aoki from the Astros along with a minor league player to be named later. Aoki is a 35-year-old outfielder who is widely known as being a solid on-base guy who has some speed to add to a lineup. The Japanese native is currently playing under a $5.5 MM contract and is arbitration eligible for the 2018 season should Toronto look to retain his services going into next season.

 

Standard Batting
Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2012 MIL 151 588 520 81 150 37 4 10 50 30 43 55 .288 .355 .433 .787 109
2013 MIL 155 674 597 80 171 20 3 8 37 20 55 40 .286 .356 .370 .726 100
2014 KCR 132 549 491 63 140 22 6 1 43 17 43 49 .285 .349 .360 .710 99
2015 SFG 93 392 355 42 102 12 3 5 26 14 30 25 .287 .353 .380 .733 103
2016 SEA 118 467 417 63 118 24 4 4 28 7 34 45 .283 .349 .388 .738 104
2017 HOU 71 224 202 28 55 12 1 2 19 5 15 29 .272 .323 .371 .694 94
6 Yr 6 Yr 720 2894 2582 357 736 127 21 30 203 93 220 243 .285 .350 .385 .736 102

 

The realistic outook for Aoki, considering his age, is he is either flipped in other move or finishes the season with Toronto only to be non-tendered during the off-season. With him due a raise in arbitration the latter seems most likely scenario.

 

 

According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi the MiLB player addition in the deal is OF Teoscar Hernandez. Hernandez is currently playing in AAA and has 41 games of major league experience under his belt from 2016. In 2017, the 24-year-old Dominican native has slashed .279/.369/.485 with 12 HR, 20 2B and 44 RBI over 79 games for Houston’s affiliate in Fresno, and is listed as their #9 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

 

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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.

W Black

Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.