Remember way back before Christmas when the Pirates signed Francisco Liriano? And how that signing basically sealed the deal on a Joel Hanrahan trade on the assumption that Hanrahan's money was going towards Liriano? And how we all spent a bunch of time discussing whether or not Liriano was a better or worse risk/way to spend money than Jeff Karstens? And how the deal was dependent on a physical that was going to happen after the holidays?
Turns out, the only thing that mattered was that the deal was dependent on a physical, because as Rob Biertempfel is reporting today, Liriano injured his non-throwing arm back in December and while his agent is still talking to the Pirates about a deal, said deal is no longer "imminent." Huntington also gives Biertempfel a quote that makes it sound like the Pirates are now actively looking for other pitchers or preparing to go forward without Liriano. I'm not sure whether that's a scare tactic to get Liriano's agent to lower his price or if the unknown injury is bad enough to scare the Pirates off entirely because honestly, there's not a whole lot else that's known about it right now.
I'm assuming that we'll have more details shortly. I've thought all winter that the Pirates needed to upgrade their rotation and Liriano was really the only move they made to do that: if he doesn't sign (or if he signs at a reduced price but can't pitch for any significant amount of time due to this injury), well, the Pirates are going to have to move quickly to address what I think are some pretty serious depth concerns with their starting rotation for 2013.