The Pittsburgh Pirates and free-agent pitcher Francisco Liriano are continuing their search for common ground on a new agreement three weeks after the left-hander injured his non-throwing arm, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:
#Pirates and Francisco Liriano still talking, source says, after injury issue arose and put two-year agreement on hold.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 14, 2013
Liriano, 29, agreed to a two-year contract with the Bucs -- pending a physical -- on Dec. 21. The deal was set to guarantee the left-hander between $12-$14 million over the next two seasons and help solidify a questionable back-end of the Pirates' rotation.
At some point over the Christmas holiday, however, Liriano injured his right arm severely enough that the Pirates put their agreement on hold. It is unknown what the injury is or how it occurred, and it is likely to remain under wraps at least until the two sides can come to a new agreement.
The Boston Red Sox have found themselves in a similar predicament with free-agent catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli. In an attempt to protect the club from what is believed to be a pre-existing hip injury, the Red Sox have lowered their offer of guaranteed money to Napoli from three years to one.
The Bucs could try a similar tactic with Liriano, but the lack of progress in the Napoli dealings may lead them in a different direction.