Angels, Orioles in mix for Francisco Liriano

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A source told FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi that the Angels and Orioles are continuing to pursue Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano in advance of next week’s trade deadline.

Liriano appears about as likely to be dealt as any pitcher in the league right now. Since his inconsistency won’t stop him from receiving significant bids in free agency, the Twins have little incentive for keeping him around. He’s never bought into their pitching philosophy anyway.

The 28-year-old Liriano is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA this season, but he’s had enough strong outings lately to drum up some interested. He struck out 15 A’s on July 13 and 10 Orioles five days later. While he did give up seven runs in his last start against the White Sox, he still has a 3.68 ERA in 11 starts since May 30.

The Twins may prefer to see what happens with Zack Greinke before making a move, since Liriano could be viewed as a consolation prize for one of the losers in that race. The Angels, for instance, probably wouldn’t make their best offer for Liriano until they know Greinke is out of reach.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.