Twins’ talks with Francisco Liriano going “backwards”

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The Twins made some sort of offer earlier this winter to free agent left-hander Francisco Liriano.

But it apparently wasn’t a very attractive one.

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Saturday that negotiations between the Twins’ front office and Liriano’s representatives “have gone backwards.” And it doesn’t sound like there’s a strong desire from either side at the moment to get those discussions headed in a positive direction.

Liriano registered an ugly 5.34 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 167/87 K/BB ratio in 156 2/3 innings this past season between the Twins and White Sox.

And he had a 5.09 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 134 1/3 innings for Minnesota in 2011.

Even in a highly lucrative market for starting pitchers, the 29-year-old southpaw is going to have to settle for a one-year deal with a low base salary. Again, it’s not clear what the Twins might have offered.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.