Francisco Liriano Rumors

Stark On Marlins, Phillies, Dodgers, Garza, Twins

Here's the latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark

  • One official who spoke with the Marlins brass estimates that the odds Josh Johnson remains with Miami are "95 percent." The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Royals have all checked in.
  • Carlos Lee, Ricky Nolasco, Heath Bell, and Gaby Sanchez are all very available. Other than Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton will be the toughest player to pry away from the Fish.
  • The Phillies have talked about trading Cliff Lee following the Cole Hamels extension and they haven't discouraged other teams from inquiring, but their game plan right now is to keep their trio of aces intact.
  • Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton are good bets to be dealt and the Phillies will listen on Hunter Pence. They want multiple young big leaguers to plug holes at third base, in the outfield, and in the bullpen in return.
  • The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They've also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.
  • Clubs have not been assured by the Cubs that Garza will make another start before the trade deadline due to his triceps issue. He's more likely to be dealt in the offseason.
  • In the wake of acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates are sending signals that they could trade away a starter like Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia.
  • The Twins' asking prices for Morneau ("pricey"), Denard Span ("more pricey"), and Josh Willingham ("it made me laugh") are high. Minnesota insists they will listen on anyone and Stark says Morneau is the bat they're most likely to move. Francisco Liriano is "nearly 100 percent" likely to be traded.
  • The Orioles continue to look for pitching, someone they consider a number three starter or better. Garza and Vargas have their eye but Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table. They've gotten hits on Jake Arrieta but won't move him unless they get a similar young arm with several years of team control remaining in return.
  • The Brewers will trade Randy Wolf "for nothing if you take the money," according to one official. 
  • The Rays have "got a big market" for Wade Davis

Rosenthal & Morosi On Brewers, Victorino, Twins

The Giants are interested in Indians reliever Chris Perez, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported this morning. Here are more notes and rumors from the FOX reporters…

  • The Brewers are not ready to declare themselves sellers, but after losing three straight games to the Reds over the weekend Milwaukee is moving in that direction, Rosenthal reports. “We’ve put ourselves in a position where it’s a tough hill to climb,” GM Doug Melvin acknowledged. The Rangers, Angels, Braves and Nationals are among the teams that have shown some level of interest in Zack Greinke, according to Rosenthal. The 44-50 Brewers could also trade Randy Wolf, Francisco Rodriguez and George Kottaras, among others.
  • The Phillies and Dodgers have discussed Shane Victorino, Morosi reports (on Twitter). However, there’s no momentum toward a deal at this point.
  • The Blue Jays are still looking for a starting pitcher even after acquiring J.A. Happ, Morosi notes (on Twitter).
  • The Twins haven’t put Josh Willingham on the trade market yet, but he’s in high demand, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • The Twins are inclined to listen to trade offers for Francisco Liriano, because they could obtain power arms for the future by completing a deal, Morosi reports.
  • MLBTR summarized more rumors from Rosenthal earlier today.

AL Central Notes: Liriano, Hernandez, Tigers

As Tigers left-hander Phil Coke celebrates his 30th birthday, here's are a few rumors from around the AL Central…

  • The Twins are looking for pitching in exchange for Francisco Liriano and in any deadline deal, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
  • Indians right-hander Roberto Hernandez is expected to soon receive a new visa that would allow him to return to the United States, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  Hernandez has been training in the Dominican Republic but would require some minor league starts before returning to the Tribe and may yet face a suspension for using his false "Fausto Carmona" identity, though the Indians don't think a suspension is likely.
  • James Schmehl of MLive.com suggests the Tigers could trade the extra draft pick they were awarded in yesterday's inaugural competitive balance lottery.  The Tigers will get a compensation pick after the second round and, unlike other MLB draft picks, these competitive balance picks are allowed to be dealt.


Twins Notes: Liriano, Sanchez, Span

The Twins have the worst record in the AL and lots of pieces to offer at the trade deadline. Here's the latest from Minnesota, courtesy of 1500ESPN.com's Phil Mackey

  • The Angels and Blue Jays are among the teams who have shown legitimate interest in Francisco Liriano. The Red Sox had internal discussions about the left-hander as far back as Spring Training, but their current level of interest is unknown.
  • The Twins have no interest in taking on Jonathan Sanchez and his pro-rated $5.6MM salary, but he is a "possibility" if he clears waivers and becomes a free agent. The Royals designated Sanchez for assignment yesterday.
  • The Reds have been looking for a leadoff man and have been scouting Denard Span.

Nationals Interested In Ryan Dempster, Others

Nationals starters lead MLB in everything from ERA (3.21) to wins above replacement (10.7) to average fastball velocity (93.6 mph), but the team’s decision makers are eyeing rotation help all the same. The Nationals are exploring trades for starters, including Ryan Dempster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

Zack Greinke of the Brewers, who was nearly traded to Washington following the 2010 season, and Francisco Liriano of the Twins are among the other potential targets for the Nationals, Rosenthal reports. Meanwhile, the Braves, Tigers, Dodgers and Red Sox are among the other clubs pursuing Dempster. 

The Nationals’ interest in adding pitching depth makes sense given the team’s stated intention to limit Stephen Strasburg’s innings. John Lannan is an internal candidate to start for Washington if GM Mike Rizzo doesn't find any deals to his liking. 

The Nationals are also seeking an everyday catcher, and Ramon Hernandez of the Rockies is one of their potential targets, Rosenthal reports. Wilson Ramos is out for the season, so the Nationals have been relying on Jesus Flores and Jhonatan Solano behind the plate.


AL Central Notes: Castillo, Tigers, Willingham

The White Sox lead the AL Central with a 49-39 record, and they are considering at least one high-profile midseason reinforcement. The White Sox have Zack Greinke on their radar, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today. Here are the latest AL Central rumors, starting in Chicago…

  • The White Sox agreed to sign Dominican prospect Luis Castillo for $450K, the Dominican Prospect League announced. The league release describes Castillo as a "man child" who hits the ball hard and runs well for his size.
  • The Tigers and White Sox are both prioritizing starting pitching in trade talks, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports.
  • The Twins haven't made Josh Willingham off-limits to other teams, but they aren't shopping him, Phil Mackey and Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com report. Willingham, who's in the first year of a three-year, $21MM contract, is "definitely" Minnesota's most valuable trade chip, 1500ESPN.com reports. However, the Twins are enjoying Willingham's production and would prefer not to trade a player so early in a multiyear contract.
  • The Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays and Braves are believed to have some interest in Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, Heyman reports.

Morosi On Dempster, Victorino, Liriano

The Mariners don’t intend to trade Felix Hernandez this summer, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported yesterday. However, many other stars will be available in trade talks between now and the end of July. Here are Morosi’s latest notes and rumors:

  • The Dodgers and Tigers are among the most serious suitors for Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, Morosi reports. Ten teams have reportedly shown interest in Dempster.
  • One executive predicts Shane Victorino will be the first big-name player traded. The Dodgers have some interest in Victorino, and the Rangers, Tigers, Pirates, Marlins and Giants have all scouted him recently.
  • The Blue Jays and Angels are showing interest in Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, Morosi reports. Liriano has a 2.83 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 57 1/3 innings since returning to Minnesota's rotation at the end of May, so many teams have been watching the Twins on days Liriano starts.

Quick Hits: Sheets, Athletics, Twins

After missing two years due to elbow injuries, righty Ben Sheets made a triumphant comeback start today as a member of the Braves, tossing six scoreless innings against the Mets for the win.  Should Sheets manage a dozen decent starts for the Braves, the minor league signing will stand as a shrewd under-the-radar move by GM Frank Wren.  Today's shrewd, under-the-radar links:

  • "I feel like myself. That's one thing I can say I never felt like in Oakland," Sheets told reporters today including Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Sheets signed a one-year, $10MM contract with the A's prior to the 2010 season despite missing all of '09.
  • "It's just as necessary for the Yankees to have young players with a few years of control as it is for the Twins or the A's," GM Billy Beane explained to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times yesterday.  The A's GM has been trading away players further from free agency lately, but this year Beane's club is surprisingly in the mix for a wild card spot.
  • Scouts from the Yankees, Blue Jays, Braves, Mets, Reds, Padres and Nationals have attended recent Francisco Liriano starts, report Phil Mackey and Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com, though some of those clubs may have had other interests.  Slugger Josh Willingham would require a lopsided offer and seems likely to stay put, as we've heard before.  Willingham is signed through 2014 and is interested in staying with the Twins beyond his current contract.
  • Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer had Mike Trout second on his board for the 2009 draft, after only Stephen Strasburg, writes John Harper of the New York Daily News.  The Angels had two consecutive picks at 24 and 25, with the Yankees at 29, and Oppenheimer thought he might get Trout once the Halos took another high school outfielder in Randal Grichuk at 24.  Of course, Angels scouting director Eddie Bane took Trout at 25.  Trout told Harper he's motivated by all the teams that passed on him.
  • The Diamondbacks signed Dominican shortstop Sergio Alcantara, according to Baseball America's Ben Badler.  BA says Alcantara draws praise for his defense, and the D'Backs had been favored to sign him.  BA ranked Alcantara 18th overall in the July 2nd class.

Angels Have Interest in Matt Capps, Francisco Liriano

Looking to bolster their pitching staff for the stretch drive, the Angels have interest in both Matt Capps and Francisco Liriano according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Twins have made both players available, though Morosi says there is an outside chance a deal for either happens.

The Halos have continued to look for bullpen help even after acquiring Ernesto Frieri from the Padres, and their rotation took a hit when Dan Haren was placed on the DL with a back issue. The trio of Ervin Santana (5.75 ERA), Jerome Williams (4.67 ERA), and Garrett Richards (4.21 ERA) has been shaky behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. Los Angeles is also said to have interest in Zack Greinke.

Capps, 28, has pitched to a 3.42 ERA with 14 saves while battling shoulder inflammation this season. He is owed approximately $2.3MM for the rest of the year and has a $6MM club option ($250K buyout) in his contract. The 28-year-old Liriano owns a 4.93 ERA in 15 starts and five relief appearances. He struck out 15 last night and has pitched to a 2.83 ERA in nine starts since returning to the rotation. Liriano will become a free agent after the season and is owed roughly $2.75MM the rest of the way.


Rosenthal On Upton, Rangers, Twins, Tigers

The Diamondbacks are willing to trade Justin Upton even if they’re in contention, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Arizona GM Kevin Towers won’t make a deal unless he’s “dazzled”, Rosenthal reports. Here are Rosenthal’s latest rumors, starting with Upton:

  • The Diamondbacks could pursue Major Leaguers instead of prospects for Upton if they remain in contention for a postseason berth. Upton raises some questions with his effort level and body language, according to Rosenthal, but the outfielder appears to have drawn “huge” interest from teams such as the Pirates nonetheless. 
  • The Rangers prefer Cole Hamels to Zack Greinke, though they continue scouting Greinke.
  • Francisco Liriano has a 2.74 ERA in eight starts since returning to the Twins’ rotation, but clubs are “wary” of trading for the left-hander, Rosenthal reports. It’s doubtful that teams would part with significant prospects for Liriano, who’s thought of as a bullpen option by some teams. Matt Capps will also be available once he returns from the disabled list, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Tigers are prioritizing offense over starting pitching, according to an executive that has spoken to the team. The Tigers need second base help and could also explore trades for corner outfielders, starting pitchers and relievers.