Francisco Liriano, we just can’t quit you. LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune reports:
The Twins have had conversations with Liriano’s representatives, according to a source with knowledge of the talks, and the sides are expected to meet next week at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville during baseball’s annual winter meetings.
Liriano posted a 5.34 ERA in 2012 for the Twins and White Sox and a 5.09 in 2011 in Minnesota. His 2010 looked great but his 2009 was run-tastic too. It’s hard to remember back when Liriano was viewed as a future ace, but it actually happened. His stuff can still dazzle and he strikes out a lot of guys, but entering his eighth season, banking on him being anything other than an innings-eater at best seems like a stretch.
Still, the Twins need pitching and Liriano technically pitches, so why not?
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.