Details emerge on Astros-Orioles failed Zach Britton deal

Jeff Luhnow didn’t have to do anything for the Astros to make the postseason in 2017. As it stands they have a 15-game lead in the American League West with a little more than 50 games remaining. Barring a major collapse, the Astros will make the playoffs.

But to win the pennant and advance to the World Series they could have used a little bit of help. They tried to get it. They tried and thought they had succeeded. But a failed deal with the Orioles for 2016 Cy Young finalist Zach Britton, and a second failed deal for an unnamed player, left them with Francisco Liriano and false promises.

Liriano last pitched for Toronto on Saturday, when the Blue Jays lost to the Los Angeles Angels , 6-5. He exited the game with Toronto ahead 4-3 after six innings of three-run baseball, striking out four. The 33-year-old lefty also reportedly had been drawing interest from the Kansas City Royals. Liriano, who has a 6-5 record this season with a 4.15 earned run average, was reportedly being targeted by teams to pitch in a relief role, in part due to his strong numbers against left-handed hitters. Liriano was second among Blue Jays pitchers this year in wins behind Marcus Stroman (nine).

The Blue Jays haven’t received the same quality from their starting pitching staff that they did a year ago. J.A. Happ, who was a 20-game winner in 2016 with a 3.18 ERA, sits at 3-8 with an ERA nearly a full run higher. Aaron Sanchez, who went 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA, has struggled to stay on the field with blister and other finger issues.

Smith carries a 3.28 ERA in 35 2/3 innings of work this season, striking out Vancouver Canucks Cheap Jerseys 12.9 batters per nine innings, the highest rate of his career. The 33-year-old righthand reliever has Tom Brady Cheap Jerseys appeared in 38 games for Toronto this season, and has struck out 51 batters.

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