Francisco Liriano still undecided about Pirates’ $15.3 million qualifying offer

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that pitcher Francisco Liriano is still undecided about the $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Pirates. The lefty is considering “several options”.

The qualifying offer means the Pirates receive draft pick compensation if Liriano signs elsewhere. For Liriano, though, signing elsewhere may prove difficult since other teams may be reluctant to part with a draft pick for a 31-year-old pitcher who has been inconsistent (though effective) and battled injuries. This was illustrated last off-season, when Ervin Santana didn’t sign until March and only because the Braves suffered back-to-back injuries to Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy.

Liriano may be able to get a multi-year deal, but it isn’t a guarantee and the average annual value would be less than $15 million per year. As a result, accepting the Pirates’ QO may be the best he can do.

Since joining the Pirates in 2013, Liriano has broken out after appearing to be a bust of a prospect. He has a 3.20 ERA with a 338/144 K/BB ratio in 323 1/3 innings over the past two seasons.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.