Baseball’s trade deadline is over a month away, which doesn’t mean that the Orioles aren’t out there looking to make an early move if they can find the right one. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported on Wednesday afternoon that the Orioles are interested in Pirates starter Francisco Liriano.
Some interest in Liriano makes sense on the Orioles part, given that he would give them a left-handed starting pitcher, which they don’t have, and he is signed through next year, so he would represent more than just a rental.
One thing standing in the way of this is that the Pirates, according to Morosi, are still focused on competing this season. At 34-37, they’re floundering a bit at the moment, and, trapped as they are in the NL Central with the near-divine Cubs, the Pirates have no chance of competing for the division crown this season.
However, the wild card is a bit more of a reachable goal for them, as they are “only” 4.5 games out with two teams to leapfrog to get into the second wild card spot. That is a deficit that can be erased over time with solid play.
A bigger thing that should be standing in the way of any interest in Liriano is the fact that he can’t throw strikes this season. The guy has walked 46 batters in 73.1 innings pitched. That is, no joke, an above-Ubaldan BB/9 rate. Also, his ERA is presently 5.03.
Why in the world would the Orioles want to get that guy of all people? Well, there’s always the off chance that they think they can fix him - hah - or perhaps they think he’ll be cheap if the Pirates are looking to offload the remainder of Liriano’s contract on someone. He’s being paid about $13.67 million this season and next season as well.
After the Orioles disastrous most recent trade with the Pirates, I have little interest in seeing them make any deals with that organization. Travis Snider for Stephen Tarpley and Steven Brault was an awful decision. Anything for Liriano probably would end up the same way.
Of course, before flipping out about this rumor, remember the first law of baseball rumors: Probably nothing will happen. In this case, let’s hope that law proves true.