Houston has reportedly completed a deal with Toronto that will bring left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano to the Astros.
While not a splashy move, sources report that Liriano will be used out of the bullpen for Houston. Tony Sipp, the only consistent left-handed presence in the Astros pen in recent seasons, posted a 4.95 ERA in 2016 after receiving a three-year deal from Houston as a free agent, and has been worse in 2017, with 6.39 mark.
Liriano, for his part, has been notably excellent against left-handed batters this season, with a 2.73 FIP and a sparkling 17.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio against fellow southpaws. It’s also possible he could be yet another multi-inning option out of a pen with multiple converted starting pitchers.
Liriano has roughly $4.5 million remaining on his contract and will be a free agent at season’s end. As for the Astros’ end of the deal:
Source: Astros are sending OF Nori Aoki and a Minor League player to the Blue Jays.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 31, 2017
Nori Aoki posted a serviceable .271/.323/.371 batting line for the Astros this season, hitting .300 in April and June, and .275 in July. The deal likely opens the door for Derek Fisher to stay on the Major League roster as an everyday player.