The Pirates continue to negotiate with Francisco Liriano

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The Pirates agreed to a two-year, $12.75 million contract with left-hander Francisco Liriano in December, but the deal has yet to be finalized because he broke his right (non-throwing) arm in a bathroom fall. While FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported late last month that the two sides had agreed to a revised deal, it’s not quite done yet.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said yesterday that the club continues to negotiate with Liriano, but he was non-committal when asked whether a deal will be finalized prior to spring training.

“The process continues,” Huntington said. “We have ongoing conversations. I’m not an oddsmaker, so I don’t know if it is likely or unlikely that we will add another pitcher.”

The reported revised deal stipulated that Liriano would reduce his salary for 2013 if he missed any time on the disabled list due to his broken arm, but it’s clear that there’s still some difference of opinion. In fact, Tom Singer of MLB.com reported earlier this week that Liriano will likely end up coming to camp on a minor league deal. That’s some costly fall, though it’s possible that the Pirates just want to see him prove his health before they put pen to paper and add him on the 40-man roster.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.