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Pirates trade rumors: Orioles interested in Francisco Liriano

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles have shown interest in dealing for Francisco Liriano, Jon Morosi reports. Don't expect anything to happen soon, though -- as Morosi also notes, the Pirates currently remain focused on winning this season.

That last bit sounds absurd right now, but as bad as things are right now, the Pirates are just five games out of the last Wild Card spot. It doesn't yet make sense for the Bucs to pull the plus on their season. It very well could in a few weeks, though, so the idea that the Orioles like Liriano is worth keeping in mind if things don't improve.

Still, this is the first time in, I think, six years that there have been rumors involving the Pirates becoming deadline sellers. They've been buyers, or at least assumed buyers, in all of the last five seasons, with the deadline falling before the Bucs collapsed in 2011 and 2012.

Liriano, of course, is in the midst of a miserable season, and in general, you don't want to trade players when their value is low. But if it's unlikely he'll get better -- and this is a call that the Pirates and their coaching staff will need to make -- then trading him might make sense anyway, particularly as a way of reallocating the $13 million he's owed in 2017 to someone more likely to be productive. In any case, Liriano isn't likely to fetch much of a return right now. That could change if he pitches well over the next few weeks, although I'd think that would make the Pirates more likely to keep him.