In the past 24 hours, the Pittsburgh Pirates have gone from cautiously optimistic to now optimistic in their attempt to resign Francisco Liriano.
Pirate officials and Liriano’s agent Greg Genske held heavy discussions on a new deal Monday evening and movement has been made with discussions centering around a three year deal worth around $40 million with a potential option for a 4th year that could push the value of the deal past $50 million, a major league source said.
Exact parameters regarding a potential 4th year option have not been agreed upon but the sides are getting close to the completion of the deal that will be for three guaranteed years.
There has been some thought that Liriano planned to wait for Jon Lester to sign before committing to the Pirates but it’s possible an agreement is reached before the end of the Winter Meetings.
The Cubs, Giants, two front runners for Lester, have also shown interest in Liriano.
Elsewhere on the free agency front, the Pirates have also shown interest in lefty pitcher Brett Anderson who is another Genske client, a source confirms. Anderson, though, is coming off back surgery but is expected to be ready for spring training. Anderson is being looked at as a depth option. Any contract would likely include incentives.
The Pirates top choice has been to resign Liriano and Edinson Volquez. Pittsburgh made an early play to resign Volquez, making a two year offer, but the Volquez camp hasn’t acted on the offer yet.
Pittsburgh is also looking at the trade market. They inquired about Jeff Samardzija who was traded to the White Sox and have been in on Ian Kennedy as some scuttlebutt is Kennedy for Pedro Alvarez has been floated around but the Padres are looking for a more significant bat to move Kennedy.
Pirates scouts have long been recommending a pursuit of Kennedy and Pittsburgh looked into him at the trade deadline.