Francisco Liriano Rumored to Be Center of Trade Talks Between Royals, Blue Jays

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2017

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Francisco Liriano delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, July 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The Kansas City Royals are reportedly in discussions with the Toronto Blue Jays to acquire starting pitcher Francisco Liriano, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

The potential trade would further bolster the pitching staff after the Royals acquired starter Trevor Cahill and relievers Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter on Monday.

Liriano, 33, has gone 6-5 with a 5.99 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and 70 strikeouts in 17 starts and 76.2 innings. While it hasn't been a great season for the veteran, he's shown flashes of effectiveness in recent years. In eight starts (10 appearances) for the Blue Jays in 2016 after being acquired last August, he went 2-2 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

The Royals would hope another change of scenery inspires those sorts of numbers from Liriano to strengthen the team's push to the postseason.

After starting 10-20, the Royals were staring down a potential crossroads: Would they become sellers given the large group of star players that would become free agents after the season? Was an era coming to a close in Kansas City?

Since then, the team has gone 42-27 and emerged as a postseason threat.

"We're in it," third baseman Mike Moustakas told Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. "We're going to go out there and try to win a World Series."

"We're trying to do something special here," starter Jason Hammel added. "The front office is doing whatever it can that they think will help. … It's a commitment to winning. It takes the question out of your mind: Not that we pay attention to the whole 'sellers' or 'buyers,' but it lets you know they’re committed in this run."