U.S. Cellular Field was the site of Francisco Liriano’s greatest start as a member of the Minnesota Twins: his no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox last season.
Tonight, might it become the site of Liriano’s last start as a member of the Minnesota Twins?
Liriano, who is slated to face Chicago’s Gavin Floyd in the series opener, may become the most attractive left-handed pitcher on the trade market if Cole Hamels signs an extension with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In many respects, Liriano is an ideal trade candidate. He is 28 and eligible for free agency at the end of this season. While erratic, he’s in the midst of an impressive stretch; since returning to the rotation May 30, he is 3-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 10 starts. He’s made three consecutive quality starts – all against contending clubs (Texas, Oakland, Baltimore).
The Twins are inclined to listen to trade offers for Liriano, because of their need to accumulate power arms for the future.
The Angels, frustrated with the inconsistency of Ervin Santana, are one potential suitor. When asked last week about Liriano – his former teammate – Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said, “Don’t be surprised. He’s been on our radar the last two years. Liriano would be pretty good. They like Liriano over here.”
The Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves are among the teams looking for starting pitchers, although it is not clear if any of them have serious interest in Liriano.
-- Jon Paul Morosi