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Notes: Liriano gets two years, $14m from Pirates

Francisco Liriano and the Pittsburgh Pirates reached agreement on a two-year, $14 million contract, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday.

Liriano, 29, split time between Minnesota and the White Sox last season. He was traded to Chicago in late July for two minor leaguers.

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The lefthander finished the 2012 season with a combined 6-12 record and a 5.34 ERA with 87 walks and 167 strikeouts in 34 games and 156 2/3 innings. Liriano has a career record of 53-54 with an 4.42 ERA in seven major-league seasons, all with the Twins before going to the White Sox in 2012.

Harden gets chance

Minnesota signed right-hander Rich Harden to a minor league contract with an invitation to compete for a spot on the staff in spring training.

The 31-year-old Harden sat out the 2012 season after having surgery Jan. 31 to repair the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, his latest setback in a long line of arm problems. Harden has the third-best strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio in the majors since his debut with Oakland in 2003, behind only Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw.

But Harden, after going 11-7 with a 3.99 ERA in 31 starts over 189 innings in his first full year in the majors in 2004, hasn’t surpassed the 150-inning mark since. Between the A’s and the Cubs in 2008, Harden finished 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA in 25 starts, posting 181 strikeouts in 148 innings. But he had a 5.58 ERA in 2010 with Texas, and accumulated only 92 innings and a 5.12 ERA in 15 starts in his return to Oakland in 2011. Harden has been hit by a number of injuries, but the shoulder has given him the most trouble.

Pierzynski all set

Free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski passed a physical, clearing the way for a one-year deal with Texas.

A person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press Pierzynski had a physical and everything was OK. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Rangers had not added Pierzynski to their 40-man roster.

With Major League Baseball offices closed for Christmas, the roster move won’t be made until at least next week.

Pierzynski, who turns 36 this month, hit .278 with a career-high 27 homers and 77 RBIs, matching a career best, in 135 games for the White Sox last season.

Pierzynski will have a chance to start for the Rangers, who need catching after Mike Napoli left in free agency. Texas also needs lefthanded power after losing All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton in free agency.

Bonderman back

The Mariners have signed pitcher Jeremy Bonderman to a minor league contract. Seattle also invited the 30-year-old, who was raised in the state of Washington, to spring training. Bonderman has not pitched in the majors since 2010, when he went 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA for Detroit. He pitched eight seasons for the Tigers and helped them reach the World Series in 2006, when he was 14-8 and led the AL with 34 starts. Bonderman had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last April. A blood clot in his right shoulder slowed his career in 2008 after he had a winning record in three straight years . . . Pitcher Scott Kazmir has signed a minor league deal with the Indians, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. The lefthanded Kazmir, who hasn't pitched in the majors since April 2011, was out of baseball to start the 2012 season, but joined the independent Sugar Land Skeeters and went 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA in 14 starts.

Canzler to Toronto

Toronto claimed first baseman/outfielder Russ Canzler off waivers from the Indians. The 26-year-old Canzler hit .269 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 26 games for Cleveland last season . . . The Brewers signed lefthanded reliever Tom Gorzelanny to a two-year contract. The 30-year-old Gorzelanny went 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA and one save in 45 games with Washington last season, including one start. He posted a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings out of the bullpen following the All-Star break . . . The Cubs agreed to a one-year contract with outfielder Nate Schierholtz. The deal calls for Schierholtz to earn $2.25 million plus an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses . . . Houston signed veteran righthanded reliever Jose Veras to a one-year contract. The 32-year-old Veras was 5-4 in 72 relief appearances for Milwaukee in 2012 with a 3.63 ERA with 79 strikeouts and 61 hits in 67 innings . . . Free agent third baseman Casey McGehee agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million deal to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese baseball league, according to the Japanese site Sankei . . . Atlanta minor league reliever Billy Bullock was suspended 50 games following a second violation of a drug of abuse. Bullock split the last two years between Double and Triple A, and has averaged more than a strikeout per inning during his career.

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