Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Orioles have interest in Pirates starter Francisco Liriano. However, the Pirates, who enter Wednesday night’s game 34-37 in third place in the NL Central, are still focusing on contending.
The Orioles have the third worst starting rotation ERA in the American League at 4.96. Only the Twins (5.71) and Athletics (5.12) have had worse production from their starters. Chris Tillman has turned in a 3.11 ERA over 15 starts, but Ubaldo Jimenez has been an unmitigated disaster with a 7.34 ERA, as has the recently-optioned Mike Wright (6.12).
Liriano might not provide much of an upgrade. The lefty owns an uninspiring 5.03 ERA with a 74/46 K/BB ratio in 73 1/3 innings this season. No one has walked more batters than Liriano. In fact, his control was why he was mostly unsuccessful with the Twins. He was able to get his walk rate below 10 percent in 2013 and ’15, helping to explain some of his recent success, but it’s currently at 13.7 percent which would be a career-high if the season were to end today.
Liriano, 32, is owed $13 million this season and $13 million for the 2017 season. The Pirates, however, would presumably have to cover some portion of his remaining salary in order to facilitate a trade that would bring back a meaningful return.