UPDATE: The Pirates have announced the deal, and it also includes Reese McGuire. Also, the Pirates only got Hutchison. So, just to recap, it's Liriano, Ramirez and McGuire for Hutchison. McGuire, just to review, doesn't hit especially well but still profiles as a potential regular catcher due to his defense. I'm on MLBTR duty and can't rip this deal in as many ways as it deserves right now, but it's a terrible salary dump and it stinks to high heaven. This is an awful, awful trade.
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In a late-breaking move, the Pirates have traded Francisco Liriano and outfielder Harold Ramirez to the Blue Jays. The Bucs will receive righty Drew Hutchison as part of the deal. It's unclear if anyone else is involved.
This is, to put it mildly, a surprising move -- not that the Pirates would deal Liriano, but that they would include Ramirez to get it done. Ramirez might not be quite as good a prospect as his statistics and age relative to league make it appear, and the Pirates have more than their share of outfielders, but Ramirez still rated as their ninth-best prospect, and he seems likely to get to the majors and at least hit for average once he gets there. Presumably the key to this deal was getting rid of Liriano's salary, but I'd hate to hear that the Bucs gave up Ramirez purely as a way of making that happen. Commentators rightly bashed the Diamondbacks when they gave up top prospect Touki Toussaint for, effectively, salary relief, and this deal looks at least a little bit like that one.
Hutchison is a marginal rotation talent who has spent most of the season in the minors and figures to be a back-end guy. He's already in his arbitration seasons, and could be a candidate to be non-tendered this winter if he doesn't perform well down the stretch.
This season has been a stunning fall from grace for Liriano, and this trade strongly suggests that the Pirates don't believe they can help him return to his 2013-15 form.