Report: Orioles interested in Francisco Liriano

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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.

Max Fried loses to Braves in salary arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitration and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Despite the defeat, Fried matched the $13.5 million Gerrit Cole won in 2019 as the highest decided by an arbitration panel.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year in arbitration instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.

He followed former Atlanta teammate Dansby Swanson in going to a hearing in consecutive years. Swanson, a shortstop, lost in 2021 and won last year, then signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The last player to win hearings in consecutive years was pitcher Trevor Bauer against Cleveland in 2018 and 2019.

Fried, a 29-year-old left-hander, went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2021, Fried pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.