The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to make trades. Soon after trading for Antonio Bastardo and Ivan Nova, Pittsburgh agreed to send Francisco Liriano and two prospects, Double-A outfielder Harold Ramirez and catcher Reese McGuire, to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher Drew Hutchison. Buster Olney had the news first.
Liriano to Toronto, Hutchinson to PIT, others involved
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 1, 2016
Pirates Trade Francisco Liriano for Drew Hutchison
Liriano, 32, entered the league in 2005 with the Minnesota Twins. Despite tons of potential and a great 2006 season, in which he won twelve games and put up a 2.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts, Liriano never became the ace some though he could be. He struggled against injury for much of his time in Minnesota, and was eventually traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2012.
Liriano signed with Pittsburgh in 2013, and enjoyed three successful season with the Pirates. He pitched over 160 innings in each of those three years, something he hadn’t done since 2010, and recorded three of the five highest single-season strikeout totals of his career. He also ended with ERAs of 3.38 or lower in each of those three seasons, which he hadn’t accomplished since that 2006 season.
This year, however, the magic seems to have abandoned Liriano. He’s 6-11 with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. He’s already allowed nineteen home runs after allowing fifteen all of last season.
Ramirez, a promising 21-year-old outfielder, might be Toronto’s real prize. The righty owns a .305 batting average and a .755 OPS with Double-A Altoona this year. If he can turn some of his sixty-six strikeouts into walks, he could be a solid major leaguer down the road. McGuire also shows promise, but right now is not the offensive threat Ramirez looks to be.
On the other end, Pittsburgh gets Hutchison, who has long been one of Toronto’s top prospects. The 25-year-old lefty has received several short stints with Toronto over the last few years and has yet to find true success, but he has the talent. He did win twenty-four games for the Blue Jays between 2014 and 2015, but ended each of those years with ERAs of 4.48 and 5.57, respectively. With Triple-A Buffalo this season, Hutch is 6-5 with a 3.26 ERA. He’s racked up 110 strikeouts against just thirty-five walks in 102 innings.