Francisco Liriano, SP/RP – Detroit Tigers
It would be the second year in a row that Liriano would be traded as a solid start and converted to a useful reliever. In 2017, he was starting for the Toronto Blue Jays and was then acquired by the World Series champion Houston Astros.
While his name didn’t grab the same headlines that the likes of Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock did, Liriano was still a useful arm for the Astros. He was good enough, that the Tigers gave him another chance to start, and then flip him at the deadline.
He started the season with a 3.42 ERA in his first nine starts for the Tigers. However, his last eight appearances have yielded a 6.00 ERA and a move back to the bullpen would be best served.
The Nationals have been lacking a true lefty specialist in their bullpen all season. Sean Doolittle is the closer, Matt Grace is the defacto long-man and Sammy Solis has done well, but lefties actually hit better than righties off of him. Enter Liriano.
So far this season, despite the iffy numbers, the one thing that can be relied on, is his ability to get lefties out. Left-handed hitters are hitting a mere .113 of Liriano this year, and recording just a .424 OPS.
He should be available on the cheap and would give the Nats the lefty specialist they desire going forward, hopefully into the playoffs.