Seattle Mariners Trade a Day: Francisco Liriano

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 23: Francisco Liriano #38 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 23: Francisco Liriano #38 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Tigers aren’t going anywhere this season so it’s time for them to ship Francisco Liriano the Seattle Mariners way. Liriano is pitching on a one-year contract worth four million dollars. Wouldn’t it make the most sense for the Tigers to make a deadline sell instead of letting him walk free and get nothing in return?

The Mariner’s rotation is riding high except one problem. It lacks a seasoned, elite third starter behind Paxton and Hernandez. Gonzales, LeBlanc, and Leake have been fantastic but they’re not elite veterans.

For one thing, what does Liriano have in common with Paxton and Hernandez? A no-hitter, which he tossed seven seasons ago as a Twin! He has proven himself in the spotlight. An example is being a member of Houston’s World Series team last season.

A surprising aspect of Liriano’s track record is that he’s been a nomad of late. The Tigers are his fourth team in two-and-a-half years. Shouldn’t five potential teams in three years raise a general manager’s eyebrows? Not at all because when the Blue Jays and Astros traded for him in 2016 and ’17, he was a rental trade.

Being a rental pick-up is flattery. You were acquired because teams think you’re the missing link to take that next step to the promised land. You’re the player to relieve pressure off the others. As we all know, the M’s have missed the promised land for a long time and Liriano is just the puzzle piece Dipoto needs for a playoff run.

The rotation is solid with Leake and LeBlanc at the back-end but it’s not scary. Liriano would add to the fear factor more and make hitters sweat. If Felix keeps struggling with a 5.11 earned run average, then Liriano is all the more valuable to have in the back pocket.

If we’re talking long playoff droughts here, the 2013 Pirates made the playoffs for the first time in 22 seasons. Guess who won 16 games for them? Liriano did, so why can’t he help the Mariners with their drought?

Mariners get: P Francisco Liriano

Tigers get: P Matthew Festa

Next: Mariners Trade a Day: Brad Hand

If Liriano joins the rotation, move Wade Leblanc to middle relief so the team doesn’t have six starters. And oh yeah, forget about Erasmo Ramirez. He can help out by eating innings in the bullpen.

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