The saga of Francisco Liriano and the Pittsburgh Pirates finally reached its conclusion this week as Liriano signed officially with the team. Liriano had a two-year deal before an arm injury concerned the Pirates enough to change the deal to just one year at $1 million but with a ton of incentives. Pittsburgh desperately needed Liriano in their rotation just for a left-handed arm to go with Wandy Rodriguez. It is now up to Liriano to live up to this deal.
Liriano struggled a bunch last season so maybe he has a chip on his shoulder trying to get back to his impressive rookie year where he can dominating hitters. Those days may be long gone but the Pirates are at a crossroads with the progress of their team. Pittsburgh has had two straight solid starts to the season before falling apart in the second half. The team has a more veteran group of pitchers in the rotation now including Liriano who could change the fortunes for the team.
Liriano should be ready for Opening Day and he has a lot to make up for in training. This could also be the last great chance that Liriano gets if he is unsuccessful. While Liriano is young, he just hasn’t been the same pitcher since his rookie year and the Tommy John surgery that came after it. Liriano needs a season where he stays completely healthy and wins 13-16 wins for Pittsburgh to make the investment by the Pirates worthwhile. There is more on the line than just wins and losses in 2013 for Liriano.