As first reported by Robert Murray of FanRag Sports, the Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates have struck a deal. Toronto has acquired Francisco Liriano and two top prospects--catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Harold Ramirez--in exchange for right-hander Drew Hutchinson.
The 32-year-old Liriano had been one of the Pirates' best pitchers over the past three years, if not their best pitcher. But in 2016, he has struggled, allowing the Blue Jays to potentially buy him on the low in a free agent year.
The Dominican Republic native has gone 6-11 this season with a 5.46 ERA over 21 starts, numbers that are not great. He has struck out 116 batters over 113 2/3 innings pitched, in line with his career averages but has walked 69, highest in the National League.
He'll struggle in Toronto if he can't find his location in the hitter-friendly American League East, but at the same time, he could be a great add for them down the stretch. He has playoff experience and had a 3.26 ERA and a 2.54 K/BB ratio from 2012 to 2015.
Liriano's current three-year, $39 million deal culminates at the end of 2016.
Hutchinson, on the other hand, is another buy-low candidate for Pittsburgh. He is just 25 years old but has never quite broken out as a great starter in Toronto.
This season, in particular, he's been hit around a bit in the Majors, allowing seven earned runs and four home runs while posting a 12-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12 2/3 innings pitched. In Triple-A, he's pitched to a 3.26 ERA and a 110-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 102 innings.
One positive to Hutchinson is that he is able to be controlled through the 2018 season. And if there is any team that can fix him up, it's the Pirates, who have been known to help many pitchers mechanically, including Liriano.