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Twins interested in Francisco Liriano, Edinson Volquez

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a very quiet offseason for rumors relevant to the Pirates, but, well, here's one, via La Velle E. Neal III:

The same agency that represents Liriano also represents lefthander Brett Anderson, another pitcher the Twins are eyeing.

Indications are that the Twins will meet with Anderson’s agent on Monday. ...

The Twins also have inquired about righthander Edinson Volquez, who was 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA with Pittsburgh last season. Again, the Pirates appear to be interested in bringing him back.

The Pirates are, of course, reportedly interested in retaining both Liriano and Volquez.

The Twins meeting with Liriano's agent doesn't necessarily mean much by itself -- there will be lots of meeting this week, many of which will come to nothing. In fact, there's a pretty good chance that's what happens with this one. Neal mentions that one issue for the Twins in signing Liriano is that Liriano refused the Pirates' qualifying offer. The Twins' top draft pick in 2015, No. 6 overall, is protected, but they would lose the No. 44 overall pick if they signed Liriano.

The Giants have also recently been connected to Liriano, although that's reportedly as a backup plan in case they can't sign Jon Lester. The conventional wisdom has recently been that the second-tier free agent starters (Liriano, Brandon McCarthy, Ervin Santana) are unlikely to sign until after Lester does, although, with fellow second-tier hurler Jason Hammel on the verge of a deal with the Cubs, that might not turn out to be true.