Twins welcome back Jason Marquis, designate Luke Hughes for assignment

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Jason Marquis was away from the Twins during spring training because his daughter got into a serious bicycling accident, but after building up his arm strength at Double-A he’s ready to join the rotation tonight.

He faces the Yankees in New York, so welcome back and … good luck.

Rather than dropping a pitcher to make room for Marquis on the roster the Twins kept a 13-man pitching staff and instead designated infielder Luke Hughes for assignment. That move is somewhat surprising, but Hughes is a poor defensive second baseman/third baseman who doesn’t really hit enough to be an everyday option at first base or an outfield corner.

There’s a decent chance another team claims him off waivers, but at age 27 and with little success in the majors or at Triple-A the Twins are unlikely to regret losing Hughes.

Report: Blue Jays and Royals making progress on a Francisco Liriano trade

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and Royals are making progress on a trade involving starter Francisco Liriano. Morosi notes that other teams are still involved with the Jays on Liriano as well.

Liriano, 33, has struggled mightily this season. He carries a 5.99 ERA with a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 76 2/3 innings. By most metrics, this is one of the worst seasons of the lefty’s career.

The Royals acquired a trio of pitchers earlier this week from the Padres: Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, and Trevor Cahill. Adding Liriano would bolster the team’s rotation depth but might not do much beyond that.

Despite a sluggish start to the season, the Royals went 17-9 in June and are 14-8 in July to put themselves right back in the thick of things in the AL Central. They’re just one and a half games behind the first-place Indians, which explains their aggressiveness leading up to Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

The Marlins are open to trading starter Dan Straily

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Miami Marlins are “now open to trading” starter Dan Straily.

Straily is controllable through 2020 and is a solid mid-to-back rotation starter, so you’d think the Marlins would want to hang on to him, but given that all of the starting pitching available right now comes with a high price tag, the Marlins could probably get a lot in return if they were to deal him.

Straily has a 3.84 ERA and a 107/33 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 innings this season.