The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signing of free agent left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano to a one-year contract with a vesting option for the 2014 season. The announcement was made by Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.
The 29-year-old Liriano went 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA (156.2ip/93er) and 167 strikeouts in a total of 34 games (28 starts) with the Twins and White Sox in 2012. He began the season with Minnesota and made 22 appearances (17 starts) before being traded to Chicago on July 28. Liriano's 9.59 strikeouts/per 9.0ip ratio ranked third among all American League pitchers with at least 100.0ip in 2012.
"We are excited to add Francisco Liriano to our roster," Huntington said. "Francisco is recovering from his right arm injury and we look forward to him joining our rotation once he is ready to go."
Liriano made his Major League debut with the Twins in 2005 and was selected to the American League All-Star team a year later while he posted a 12-3 record and 2.16 ERA in 28 games (16 starts) with Minnesota in 2006. He won a career-high 14 games, struck out a career-high 201 batters and pitched a career-high 191.2 innings with the Twins in 2010, earning A.L. Comeback Player-of-the-Year honors.
In his career, Liriano has held left-handed hitters to a .227 batting average and just six home runs in 732 at bats. Over the last three years, he ranks fifth among American League lefthanders with 480 strikeouts and first with an 8.95 strikeout/per 9.0ip ratio. On May 3, 2011, Liriano threw the fifth nohitter in Twins history, blanking the White Sox, 1-0, in Chicago.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Liriano, the Pirates have outrighted right-handed pitcher Vin Mazzaro to Triple-A Indianapolis with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.