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.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.