Welcome to Chicago, Francisco Liriano.
The Chicago White Sox announced, via Scott Merkin of MLB.com, Saturday evening that they acquired the left-handed pitcher from the Minnesota Twins in advance of Tuesday's 2012 MLB trade deadline for shortstop Eduardo Escobar and left-handed pitcher Pedro Hernandez.
The trade is the third that general manager Kenny Williams has made in an effort to improve the White Sox in a season filled with surprises.
While the move is exciting, it comes with risks because Liriano, 28, is a bit of an enigma this season.
On one side, he is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA, which is not much better than current No. 5 starter Philip Humber.
On the other hand, he has struck out 109 in 100 innings and had lowered his ERA from 7.20 to 4.81 over his last 10 starts prior to giving up seven earned in less than three innings of work Monday against the Sox.
Also of note is that Liriano, who can become a free agent at the end of this season, has limited left-handed hitters to a .224 BAA over his career.
The move addresses the need for another starting pitcher as the dash for the AL Central title heats up.
John Danks is out for the foreseeable future, Humber and Gavin Floyd are coming off of stints on the DL and both Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have already surpassed their highs in innings pitched.
Are the Sox better with Liriano in the rotation?
Phil Rogers, in an article for the Chicago Tribune Saturday night, postulated that this the first part of another move Williams is going to make.
The Sox do not need six starting pitchers. That means that either Floyd or Humber should be on the way out of town unless Williams puts Quintana back in the pen. It also calls into question if Danks is going to return at all this year.
Regardless, the Sox are a better team now than they were when play began on Saturday.
Can’t wait to see what’s next.