Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/2/12

Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano is a hot name on the trade rumor mill. A quick look at his 2012 season bears a striking resemblance to his career stats. His start on July 1st against the Royals was a 4 walk, 4 run no decision. In his previous two starts he logged 13.1 innings, surrendered 2 runs and 4 walks, while striking out 11.

In 2006 and 2010, Liriano was dominating. In 2009 and 2011 he posted ERAs north of 5.00. Liriano will be a free agent after the season.

It is the flashes of dominance that has his name popping up in trade rumors, with no shortage of possible suitors. According to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500, several teams, including the Braves, Yankees and Blue Jays scouted his start on July 1st. Other teams that could have an interest in the southpaw include the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers.

Twincities.com reported that Jim Fregosi, the Atlanta Braves’ top advance scout, spent the last week at Target Field and was there for Liriano’s start on July 1st and his start on June 25th against the White Sox.

“Hell, he’s got stuff. He’s got three pitches that can strike any hitter out on any given night,”  Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Friday in an interview with 1500 ESPN’s Tom Pelissero Show. “The guy’s in the prime of his career, he’s left-handed, he’s one of the best teammates in the clubhouse. It’s very puzzling why he’s gone through (struggles), but he has.”

Liriano has a few more starts between now and major league baseball’s July 31st trade deadline. Will he show enough to entice a team into a what will amount to be a rental trade?

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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