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.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.