Earlier this evening, Jon Morosi reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates were still talking with Francisco Liriano. Morosi followed up with a tweet noting that the Pirates were one of the teams interested in free agent Shaun Marcum.
Shaun Marcum, free agent starter, is drawing interest from Padres, Pirates and Rangers, sources say. @mlbonfox
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 14, 2013
It would seem that the Pirates aren’t locked in with Liriano, especially if they’re showing interest in other starting pitchers. They could definitely afford Marcum, since they were set to pay Liriano $12.75 M over two years. They also have some money remaining from the Joel Hanrahan trade. Marcum comes with the same concerns as Liriano, with a bad history of injuries. A big difference is that Marcum has posted strong numbers when healthy, while Liriano has struggled. Liriano fits PNC Park better as a left-handed ground ball pitcher, while Marcum is a right-handed fly ball pitcher. I don’t know if we could expect the same numbers from Marcum pitching half his games in PNC, but he wouldn’t be a bad sign if the Liriano deal falls through.
UPDATE 11:30 AM: Morosi writes that the intertest from the Pirates is a sign that they aren’t completely confident that they’ll finalize their agreement with Francisco Liriano.