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Dealing Francisco Liriano to Toronto could pay off in Pittsburgh

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BBTN critical of Blue Jays' decision to move Sanchez to pen (1:46)

The Baseball Tonight crew explain why they do not think it is a wise move for the Blue Jays to move Aaron Sanchez to the bullpen and replace him in the rotation with recently acquired Francisco Liriano. (1:46)

The Pittsburgh Pirates appear to be taking a lot of heat for their trade of Francisco Liriano and two prospects to the Toronto Blue Jays for Drew Hutchison, but I think both sides get some value out of this deal.

Liriano was owed about $17 million through the end of next year and has been below replacement level this year, with the second-highest ERA in the NL and the league's highest walk total and rate. He's also been exceptionally homer-prone. If you're looking for silver linings, his stuff and velocity are intact and he's been healthy all year, on track for his second full season of 30-plus starts in a row. His problems have been entirely a function of location -- he's getting killed by leaving his fastball in the middle of the zone -- and I'd bet on some rebound for 2017. For this year, however, the Jays could use him as a swingman or a potential sixth starter if they end up doing something to limit Aaron Sanchez's innings (not that I'm advocating this).