On Christmas this year, Francisco Liriano's gift to himself was flushing $11 million in guaranteed money down the drain.
And all because he was trying to pull a prank on his kids. Oh, the horror.
From Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Michael Sanserino @msanserino
Francisco Liriano said he broke his arm when he slammed it against a door, trying to startle his kids Christmas Day. #Pirates2/11/2013, 2:42:47 PM
If you think that little "prank" wasn't costly, think again—Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk breaks down exactly what it cost him:
Francisco Liriano cost himself a lot of guaranteed money when he broke his non-pitching arm this offseason. The Pirates tore up a two-year, $12.75 million deal and it was replaced with one that only guarantees him $1 million. He can get it all back if he achieves certain benchmarks and has his 2014 option vest, but it’s still a lot more risk...
Merry Christmas, bank account!
According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), Liriano can earn "$5.25 million this year and $8.5 million in 2014 if he pitches 200 innings a season," and he also has "$3.75 million in available roster bonuses this year under the deal based on days on the active big league roster or the disabled list, not including days on the DL as the result of the pre-existing injury to his right arm."
So, he can make that money back.
And the upside is that Liriano broke his non-pitching arm. But it's pretty hard to imagine him reaching 200 innings, seeing as he has never done so in his career.
Liriano has been a major disappointment in the past two seasons after pitching well in 2010. Last year, between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox, he was 6-12 in 156.2 innings with a 5.34 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 167 strikeouts.
The left-hander always presents a conundrum for managers and fantasy baseball owners alike. He has electric stuff when he's on his game, but an injury-riddled past and plenty of inconsistency have marked the latter portion of his career.
Long gone is the man who blew past big league batters in 2006, finishing 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 144 strikeouts. Since undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing all of the 2007 season, he has never quite been the same.
Still, the Pirates were willing to give him a chance. One prank later, that chance comes with far less guaranteed money. You have to feel bad for Liriano—a pitcher with so much potential who has seen it halted by pretty unfortunate circumstances.
Heck, the poor guy can't even have some fun with his kids on Christmas without suffering the consequences. It's almost tragic at this point.
Well, if the story is true, that is.