Liriano agrees to $4 million, 1-year deal with Tigers
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Detroit agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with left-hander Francisco Liriano, giving the Tigers added pitching depth.
The 34-year-old was 6-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 18 starts last season with Toronto and 20 relief appearances with World Series champion Houston, which acquired him at the July 31 trade deadline. He is 102-99 in a 12-year big league career.
Tigers general manager Al Avila said it has not been decided whether Liriano will start or pitch in relief.
“He told us he would like to start but if we needed him to work out of the bullpen, he would do that also,” Avila said. “We do have some question marks. It’s good to know you have a versatile guy that’s very experienced.”
The deal came after the Tigers watched Liriano throw off a mound in Miami. It was announced Friday during Detroit’s 3-1 loss to the New York Yankees, the Tigers’ first exhibition of the year against a big league opponent.
Liriano pitched in Minnesota from 2006-12, a time when new Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire managed the Twins.
“He’s a great kid,” Gardenhire said. “Just fantastic. He’ll fit in perfect here. He’s a worker.”
Liriano can earn $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts.
Notes: DH Victor Martinez, 39, is scheduled to play for first time in Saturday’s game against Toronto. He had a heart problem that cut his 2017 season short. . Miguel Cabrera made his debut Friday and had an opposite-field single to right in two at-bats. Cabrera had off year last season, hitting .249 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs. ... To clear a roster spot for Liriano, the Tigers designated LHP Jairo Labourt for assignment.
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