The Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly close to signing Francisco Liriano to a two-year, $12.75 million contract, according a La Velle E. Neal III at the Minnesota StarTribune. This is just soooo Pirates. Liriano fell out of favour in Minnesota last season, landing in the bullpen for a brief spell before pitching well on his return to the rotation. The Twins dealt the left-hander to the Chicago White Sox for two warm bodies in July, where he pitched mostly horribly with a 5.40 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 58 K, and 32 BB in 56.2 innings. Liriano finished 2012 with a 5.34 ERA, 4.34 FIP, 4.14 xFIP, and 167 K in 156.2 innings.

Liriano will join a rotation that currently features A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, and Charlie Morton.

You might want to look at this acquisition as an example of a team taking a chance on an arm that’s shown an ability to miss bats. The inclusion of a second year in the contract negates any opportunity to label this a low risk, high reward type signing. Still, it’s the small market Pirates making an effort to improve an area they desperately require an upgrade to…

Or you could look at it like this:

Liriano represents the Pirates’ second free agent pick up this offseason, having signed Russell Martin to a two-year contract last month.