The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly in talks with the Kansas City Royals for left-hander pitcher Francisco Liriano who will become a free agent at season’s end.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Royals are rumoured to be interested in adding another arm even after acquiring Trevor Cahill from the San Diego Padres earlier this week. The Royals sit only 1.5 games back of the first place Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.
The Jays are looking to unload Liriano and presumably Marco Estrada before the deadline as both hurlers do not appear to be in the team’s plans moving forward after regressing for much of the season.
Liriano was sharp in his last start versus the Athletics firing five innings of two-run ball and lowering his earned run average to 5.99 on the season but his inflated BB/9 rate of 4.9 is worrisome.
There is no word on what a possible return could yield but it will not be earth shattering unless the Jays incorporate other players into a package. Liriano is earning $13.6 million this season after being acquired at the deadline last season from the Pirates.
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The Royals current rotation consists of Jason Vargas, Danny Duffy Jason Hammel, Ian Kennedy and the newly acquired Trevor Cahill with Nate Karns being shelved for the season with thoracic elbow surgery. Liriano would act as pitching insurance for an aging Royals starting corps who have both Kennedy and Hammel with earned run averages north of four.
With less than a week remaining until MLB deadline, the Blue Jays will be working the phone lines trying to unload expiring contracts and improving their team for 2018 and beyond. It should make for an interesting next few days in Blue Jays land.