The Pirates have agreed to re-sign left-hander Francisco Liriano to a three-year, $39 million contract, as first reported by Robert Murray of MLBDailyRumors.com. The agreement comes following an aggressive pursuit of Liriano from the Pirates, as we reported last week.
Liriano, whose market was likely affected by the attachment of draft pick compensation, returns to Pittsburgh despite rumors of interest from the Twins, Royals and Red Sox in recent weeks. He reclaims his spot in the rotation along side free-agent signee A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Vance Worley and Jeff Locke. According to reports, the Bucs are targeting other starters, with Edinson Volquez still in their sights.
In 29 starts for Pittsburgh last season, Liriano posted a 7-10 record and 3.38 ERA after a career season in which he was 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA in 2013. The southpaw was said to be looking for a four-year deal in free agency, but potentially took a hometown discount to return to the Pirates, with whom he has spent the last two seasons.
With Liriano and Jeff Samardzija moving to new teams in the last 24 hours, the league appears to have stopped waiting for Jon Lester's decision. The starting pitching market is expected to move quickly in the next few days following Lester's impending decision.