MLB Rumour Roundup: Rival teams prefer Blue Jays’ Liriano in relief

Jon Paul Morosi explains why Steve Pearce could be moved at the MLB trade deadline because of his versatility and contract.

Even though the Royals appeared to make progress toward a Francisco Liriano deal Thursday, the left-hander’s a member of the Blue Jays for now.

Still, the Royals’ interest provides useful information about how Liriano’s viewed around the league. Kansas City has a full rotation, with Jason Vargas, Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy, Trevor Cahill and Jason Hammel, but most interested teams view Liriano as a reliever, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

The vast majority of Liriano’s experience comes as a starter, but there are few reasons he has appeal as a reliever. His stuff could play up in shorter stints, for one, and his career numbers only add to the intrigue. He has allowed a .220/.307/.339 batting line the first time through the order, and lefties hit just .221/.295/.306 against him.

The defending champions appear to have taken note, as Rosenthal reports that the Cubs have “at least considered” Liriano.

Aces available
David Price hit the disabled list Friday, but as of now the Red Sox don’t plan to pursue a starter, according to Rosenthal. That said, the market for frontline starting pitchers continues to develop.

There’s also Sonny Gray, who has been pitching extremely well of late. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag, the Athletics are asking for a ton in exchange for Gray, who’s controllable through 2019. In talks with the Yankees, Oakland asked for outfielder Clint Frazier or shortstop Gleyber Torres, both of whom are top prospects.

Brewers as buyers
The Brewers weren’t necessarily expected to be buyers at the deadline, but they’ve already traded for Anthony Swarzak and they might not be done yet. They’ve shown interest in Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, according to Rosenthal. Talks have yet to advance regarding the 36-year-old Granderson, who has 13 home runs and a .780 OPS.

Red Sox liked Neshek
If the Red Sox had interest in Pat Neshek, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports, what does that mean for Blue Jays trade chip Joe Smith? The Red Sox apparently liked the different look that the side-arming Neshek provides, so it’s conceivable that they could turn to Smith now that Neshek’s in Colorado.

MLB Trade Rumors has a complete look at the market for right-handed relievers including Smith, who’s described by Jeff Todd as “arguably one of the more attractive rental options in the game, depending on one’s view of his health.”