Sep 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (58) delivers a pitch against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Is Francisco Liriano still in Pirates plans?

With pitchers and catchers set to report in three weeks, there is still one question the Pittsburgh Pirates have not yet answered- will Francisco Liriano be in a Pirates uniform in 2013?

Sept 15, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (58) looks on before delivering a pitch in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The White Sox won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows the Liriano story by now, as  the Bucs agreed  to sign the  left-hander to a  two-year deal worth over $12 million shortly before Christmas. Then came the news about Liriano’s injury to his non-throwing arm which put the reported contract in jeopardy. As of now, Liriano is not a Pirate as they moved onto Jeff Karstens, but could all of that change?

The Pirates are still in search of starting pitching, at least they should be, and you have to wonder if the southpaw is still in the Bucs plans?’s Tom Singer reported that there is still no clear-cut answer as to whether Liriano will be a Pirate this season, but does note that he is part of their search right now.

One thing is for certain and that is the fact that he won’t get a two-year, $12.75 million contract if he is.

But if the Bucs were willing to shell that out before the right arm injury, you would think that they would have more interest in Liriano on a one-year deal at a cheaper dollar figure.

That’s all providing that Liriano is healthy enough to pitch and right now that is anyone’s guess.

However if he is, then Liriano still makes sense for the Bucs.

I would expect the Pirates to try and do something during the next three weeks, whether that means taking a  chance on Liriano or another starter remains to be seen.

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Tags: Francisco Liriano Pittsburgh Pirates

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