Report: Astros land pitcher Francisco Liriano in trade with Blue Jays

Francisco Liriano is reportedly going to the Astros. (AP)

The question for the Houston Astros wasn’t whether they’d land some pitching help before the MLB trade deadline on Monday — the odds were good — the question was who they’d get and what they’d be willing to give up.

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As it turns out, the Astros — the top team in the AL these days — didn’t empty the farm system to pursue one of the bigger arms on the market (not yet at least). Instead, they worked out a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays to land veteran lefty Francisco Liriano. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports both said it’s a done deal, just pending a physical:


The return for the Blue Jays, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart is veteran outfielder Nori Aoki and a yet-to-be-named minor leaguer.

Liriano, 33, hasn’t been fantastic this season in Toronto, with a 5.88 ERA and a 6-5 record, but he’s benefited from a change of scenery before. Like last season, when he struggled in Pittsburgh before a trade to Toronto and carried a 2.92 ERA the rest of the season.

Don’t necessarily look for Liriano to start, though. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says the Astros plan to use Liriano in the bullpen, which means Houston still could be looking for another starting pitcher before the deadline hits.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!