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 Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.