Francisco Liriano’s 2013-14 Contract Details

Francisco Liriano Pitching
Francisco Liriano can make up to $8.5 M next year. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Earlier this year we learned that Francisco Liriano was due to make $2.125 M in roster bonuses this year, have a $6 M vesting option in 2014, and a potential $2.5 M in roster bonuses. Today, MLBTR released the breakdown of those numbers.

The 2013 Bonuses

Liriano’s 2013 bonus structure is as follows:

  • 60 days not on DL with right arm injury: $250K
  • 75 days not on DL with right arm injury: $250K
  • 90 days not on DL with right arm injury: $750K
  • 120 days not on DL with right arm injury: $750K
  • 135 days not on DL with right arm injury: $125K
  • 150 days not on DL with right arm injury: $750K
  • 165 days not on DL with right arm injury: $125K
  • 180 days not on DL with right arm injury: $750K

Liriano was activated on May 11th, which would give him 142 days not on the DL with a right arm injury, assuming he finishes out the season with no issues. That would take him past the 135 days bonus, which is where the $2.125 M figure comes from.

MLBTR noted that these bonuses aren’t roster bonuses, but bonuses relative to Liriano’s health and ability to help the club. The Pirates have all of their starting pitchers extend their rehab to 100 pitches. That included Liriano, even though many were arguing at the time that he should have been brought up to make his final shortened rehab starts in Pittsburgh. Liriano’s last two rehab starts were April 30th and May 5th. He would have had to be healthy enough to come up for both to get the extra days needed for the 150 day bonus. He would have had eight days if he was called up between the two starts, but teams don’t usually call a guy up until he’s ready to start. Liriano threw 82 pitches on April 30th, and 98 pitches on May 5th.

One argument that could go against Liriano is that he hadn’t gone more than five innings and only made three rehab starts prior to April 30th. The last one was a good outing that saw him extend to 79 pitches over five innings, but that followed another outing where he threw 70 pitches in 2.2 innings in Altoona.

The 2014 Option

The $750 K bonus isn’t really that big, but the 150 day mark also is the difference between his 2014 option vesting at $6 M instead of $8 M. Liriano could still earn that extra $2 M, but it’s not guaranteed.

The 2014 Bonuses

Liriano has performance bonuses for innings. He would receive $150,000 for 180 innings, $200,000 for 190 innings, and $150,000 for 200 innings. That gives him a maximum of $500,000 in bonuses if he reaches 200 innings. If he pitches the way he has been pitching this year, and does that over a full season, he should reach those totals.

If his option does vest at $6 M, he could make the difference up with the number of starts he makes. MLBTR says that is $400,000 each for 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 starts. Even after missing a month, Liriano has 19 starts this year, and should finish with at least 25. So he wouldn’t even need to be healthy all year to reach that.


There’s not much here that we don’t know, except the structure for the bonuses in 2014. There’s also the part about how Liriano’s days in 2013 don’t necessarily have to be days on the active roster. That could be an interesting situation, since it would be a subjective matter when a player is actually ready to help the team. I don’t know if this would create any sort of controversy with Liriano. Considering the Pirates make all of their starters extend to the same point that Liriano went to in rehab, it would be hard to argue that he was ready sooner. Then again, if it’s only based on when he was healthy enough to pitch, and not pitch for the major league team, then that would begin on April 15th, which was his first rehab start.

  • With the value they got out of him this year they easily got the value of the entire two years out of him already. I’m just glad it was a two year deal. They have the potential to get about 25-30 mil worth of value out of him at the rate he’s going…although Liriano is a stranger to back-to-back good and healthy seasons.

    • Agree 100% – hate to think where we would be right now if not for him winning games when it looked like the team was heading into a prolonged slump. They are hanging tough – last year at this exact time, the Pirates went to SD and dropped all 3 and that was the beginning of the slide that lasted through September. 19 over .500 before the AS Break and now 3 over .500 after the AS Break – I can live with that. Four excellent starts in a row by our Rotation. Love to see at least a split in SF.