The Minnesota Twins are still hot on the trail of a few pitching names, although nothing on the mound has been made as substantial as the desire to sign outfielder Torii Hunter. At any rate, another reunion may be in the works as the Twins eye former Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander, Francisco Liriano.
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Liriano exploded onto the scene with the Twins in 2006 when he posted a 2.16 ERA, was named an All-Star, compiled 144 strikeouts at a 10.7 K/9 rate, and won 12 games.
After posting a 3.38 ERA with the Pirates last season. Liriano is now a free agent and Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN is reporting the Minnesota remains interested in a reunion.
On 1500ESPN.com, Wolfson writes:
"The Twins have had conversations with Greg Genske, the agent for Liriano and free-agent left-hander Brett Anderson, according to a separate source."
One thing that could deter the Twins from bringing back Liriano would be his cost. While he is reportedly seeking a four year deal with an average annual value around $12 million, the biggest cost is the draft pick compensation. Signing Francisco Liriano would force the Twins to give up a draft pick.
At 30 years old, Liriano shouldn’t be turned away from because of wanting a four-year deal. He has shown the last two season with the Pirates that he can be a very good pitcher still.
For the Twins, the biggest difference maker may be in that Neil Allen, not Rick Anderson, is their pitching coach. With a new name to work under, Liriano may benefit greatly from the change of scenery he had grown accustomed to in Minnesota. Without a doubt his time here sputtered to an end, but with the renewed success in Pittsburgh, a new opportunity with the Twins may be great for both sides.
Liriano would provide a quality option for the Twins, and Minnesota would give Franky an opportunity to prove the better half of his career is what he should be remembered for.