June 20, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning of an interleague game at PNC Park. The Minnesota Twins won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
The Twins have looked like potential sellers since early this season, and several of their players have been mentioned in trade rumors. While Liriano’s name was among those trade possibilities, he wasn’t a sure bet to be moved due to his lackluster performance.
However, as Cafardo notes, Liriano has turned things around of late. Prior to his demotion to the Twins bullpen, Liriano went 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA with 19 walks in his first 26 2/3 innings. He managed an improved ERA of 4.91 over his five relief appearances and has posted an impressive ERA of 2.67 with 35 strikeouts over his five starts, spanning 30 1/3 innings, since rejoining the rotation.
Cafardo notes that it would be difficult for a contending team to put their trust in Liriano, but he doesn’t believe a trade is out of the question. Liriano is making $5.5 million this year, owns a career ERA and WHIP of 4.32 and 1.344, and is eligible to hit free agency following the season.