The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Thursday morning that they have declined the 2016 club option for pitcher Radhames Liz, making him a free agent. Liz pitched 14 games in relief for the Pirates this season, posting a 4.24 ERA in 23.1 innings, with 27 strikeouts and a 1.63 WHIP. He was removed from the 40-man roster twice during the season.

The Pirates signed Liz as a free agent in the off-season after he started off great in the Dominican, pitching winter ball. His manager down there was Dean Treanor, who also manages the Indianapolis Indians for the Pirates. Liz has recently reported to his winter league team, although Treanor isn’t managing this season.

Liz showed potential by dominating in the Dominican last winter, while also posting a 1.40 ERA in 64.1 innings with Indianapolis this season, but he didn’t adjust well to the change in roles. He was a starting pitcher in AAA and winter ball, then only pitched out of the bullpen for the Pirates. Liz was sought after in Korea and Japan last year during the off-season, so he could end up pitching overseas next season.

UPDATE 8:50 AM 11/6: We just learned that the option was for $2.25M. Liz instead received a $250,000 buyout.

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  1. Really silly for the team to not give this kid, already signed, a chance to start in spring training this year. See what you have compared to our other 3,4,5 and then injury concerns. He still was hitting 95-99 last year. Kind of like Nate Eovaldi in NY, a simple tweak to his cutter and along with the velocity he became really effective.
    I just don’t understand this give-away.

      • They declined a club option at $2M, and bought him out for $250K. I am surprised he was not viewed as an affordable candidate for the 4 or 5 spot in the rotation, given his live arm and success as a AAA starter. This also makes me think the Bucs have a real plan to find better options to contend for the Burnett vacancy.

  2. Disappointed as well, would’ve liked to see him as a starter. If there is a small chance he’s could be better than Locke or Morton I would’ve kept him. But the Pirates had him long enough to know what they had and figure out his worth, so I guess we can take their word on it. Oh well

      • He reportedly signed a 2 year/3 million deal last year, so that should give you a good idea what it the cost was.

        As noted above, I too believe that he was not used correctly by the Pirate’s this past season. They tried to put a square peg into a round hole.

  3. Little surprised he wasnt considered as an early season starting pitching depth option heading into next year, given his live arm and his success as a starter last year in Indy. Liz seemed to struggle in those “game on the line” extra innings situations where he knew he couldnt make a mistake because 1 run would end the game. I think as a starter, that mental/stress aspect is minimized and he went out in Indy and just let it fly and trusted his stuff.

    Not a lot of back-end/depth starter types with arms as live as Liz’s. Disappointing.

  4. Damn! Who is going to pitch 23 innings next year and cost us 2 games(-2.1 WPA) 3rd worst of any MLB reliever last year. A lot of damage done in those 23 innings.

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