Blue Jays close to trading Francisco Liriano to Astros

The Astros are close to acquiring lefty Francisco Liriano from the Blue Jays, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. The deal is pending medical review and will likely send a minor-league outfielder to Toronto.

Liriano has been linked to the Royals, Twins, Cubs and Dodgers in recent weeks as the Jays have shopped him. He has struggled to a 5.88 ERA in 18 starts for Toronto this season but has still intrigued teams due to the fact he’s a rental who lefties are hitting .230/.254/.361 against.

If the deal is completed, Houston is likely to use Liriano in a relief role, potentially as a lefty specialist. The Astros are looking for a lefty arm to put alongside Tony Sipp in the bullpen but are unlikely to match the high prices for top options Brad Hand and Zach Britton.

Liriano is earning $13.67 million this year, so the prospect cost in a deal would likely not be high. It’s unclear who will pay the rest of his salary this year.

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