Twins extend offers to Francisco Liriano, Joe Saunders

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

An inexperienced Minnesota Twins rotation could be addressed by the likes of a free agent lefty like Francisco Liriano or Joe Saunders.

The Minnesota Twins have extended contract offers to free agents pitchers Joe Saunders and Francisco Liriano, La Valle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports. Neal says that Twins brass is simply waiting for responses to those offers from the winter meetings in Nashville, which conclude on Thursday.

It may be surprising to some that the Twins are interested in bringing back in Liriano after dealing him to the Chicago White Sox over the summer, but he could be a bargain at the right price. While he's struggled badly over the past couple years, few pitchers, if any, with his upside can be had on the open market at such a reasonable price.

Saunders doesn't have Liriano's upside, but he's certainly more dependable. The lefty has never had a single-season ERA higher than 4.60, and his 28 starts in 2012 qualifies as his lowest total since 2007. Split between Baltimore and Arizona, Saunders posted a 4.07 ERA in 174 2/3 innings this year.

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