Pirates remain in contact with Liriano, interested in Marcum

Late Sunday night, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported the following:

Liriano apparently injured his right (non-throwing) arm at some point since the Pirates agreed to a deal with him in December. Negotiations seemed to be stalling, especially after John Perrotto claimed that the Bucs were “kicking the tires” on southpaw Joe Saunders.

Shortly after tweeting about Liriano, Morosi offered some more insight:

Marcum, 31, has not drawn much interest this offseason, mostly due to an elbow injury sustained in June. He’s one of the better starting pitching options still available, and the Rangers and Padres are hunting him down as well.

These two rumors are noteworthy because the Pirates ZiPS projections were released today, and the pitching does not look too promising. Here’s what the article has to say:

“…it would probably be fair to say about ZiPS that — while it doesn’t hate the Pirates pitching staff — that it’s at least thoroughly unimpressed by those qualities in the Pirates pitchers which correlate most strongly with future run prevention. With the exception of Wandy Rodriguez and (just barely) A.J. Burnett, none of the team’s starters are even viewed as average.”

The starting rotation is still up in the air, with not much depth beyond A.J. and Wandy. Even those two aren’t guaranteed successful seasons, as they near the end of their careers. The Buccos could definitely use some pitching help, so Liriano, Marcum, or even Saunders would be a good start.

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