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The Twins have talked with Francisco Liriano’s agents

Nov 28, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

Francisco Liriano AP AP

Francisco Liriano, we just can’t quit you. LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune reports:

The Twins have had conversations with Liriano’s representatives, according to a source with knowledge of the talks, and the sides are expected to meet next week at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville during baseball’s annual winter meetings.

Liriano posted a 5.34 ERA in 2012 for the Twins and White Sox and a 5.09 in 2011 in Minnesota. His 2010 looked great but his 2009 was run-tastic too. It’s hard to remember back when Liriano was viewed as a future ace, but it actually happened. ┬áHis stuff can still dazzle and he strikes out a lot of guys, but entering his eighth season, banking on him being anything other than an innings-eater at best seems like a stretch.

Still, the Twins need pitching and Liriano technically pitches, so why not?

  1. albertmn - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    I really hope this doesn’t happen. Unless Liriano has learned that the grass isn’t always greener with his time with the White Sox, and that caused him to rededicate himself to becoming a good pitcher, please don’t bring him back. Please, Twins, let him be someone else’s headache.

    The Twins keep being mentioned as “in contact” with nearly every FA pitcher (other than the big money guys). Starting to wonder if they will actually sign any, or if this is just to keep up appearances.

    • trevorb06 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      I have no doubt the Twins will sign 2 or 3 starters that will start the season in the rotation, but I also know it’ll be more of the Marquis stuff we’ve already seen the past few seasons.

      Speaking of which, for Halloween I saw something beautiful. A guy was dressed in a Scott Diamond jersey with four baseball tees tied up and dragging behind him. I asked what he was and he replied, “The Twin’s starting rotation.”

  2. Detroit Michael - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Liriano was questioned so much by the Twins over the years (perhaps legitimately, I’m not debating the merits) that you’d think he’d want to go elsewhere if he has an option for comparable dollars from another team.

  3. byjiminy - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    He still has some potential upside if the cost of gambling on him is low enough, but he’s never been an innings eater, and with the lowest first strike percentage in the league last year, and the second highest walk rate, if anything he’s going the other direction. (Nice write up here: http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?1201-Twins-interested-in-a-Francisco-Liriano-reunion)

    It always drove the Twins crazy how taxing his short starts were on the bullpen. Wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in the bullpen himself.

    He’s still got the great slider, if he could only throw strikes with the fastball; but he just gets worse and worse. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Twins gamble a few million on a rebound, as long as they don’t count on it happening.

    • trevorb06 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      At this point Liriano might want to consider a career in the bullpen. If he just worked on his fastball and slider alone he could be a decent threat as a set-up guy and potentially a closer if he got his act together. Seeing the kind of contracts being thrown out to closers these days it might be the best road for him purely based on money.

      • Cris E - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        I wonder if the team ever put him in touch with someone who’d made the move to the pen to sell him on the idea. Not as the swing guy who can give you three innings, but as a 25 pitch beast who attacks for an inning at a time. It’s clear that Gardy and Rick Anderson couldn’t sell this in a way he’d subscribe to, but Perkins bought in.

  4. greatdayfortwo - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Strangely, a deal between the two might make more sense than either side would want to admit.

    FranKKKy has only shown glimpses in the last couple years of his past brilliance, but not enough for anyone to commit any serious money to him. His starts are a disaster waiting to happen for any bullpen behind him. Yet, the Twins are in desperate need of starting pitching with only a large collection of inexperienced players presently competing for a spot in their rotation. (Can we just ignore Blackburn is still lingering around?)

    As much as the Twins must have been disappointed that Zumaya and Marquis didn’t work out last year, they need to keep looking to throw experience into their pitching staff. Though an innings eater like Pavano would be much more preferable a signing, the free agent pool is shallow this year. The Twins and Liriano might find a one-year deal to be the best opportunity for each.

  5. bkunza - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. joeyashwi - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Funny. Build them a stadium and now they can barely field a team, much less a contender. Oh wait, we paid Mauer. My bad.

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