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  • Evaluating Francisco Liriano’s Trade Market

    Two big pitching trades have been made this week and several more have been close. With all that activity, could it be that Terry Ryan has missed his chance to maximize his return on Francisco Liriano?

    I don’t think so, but I also doubt we’ll see a move soon.

    Still Lots Of Interest
    The Tigers acquired Anibal Sanchez on Monday and the Pirates traded for Wandy Rodriguez on Tuesday. Both are top notch pitchers that could be viewed as comparable (or better) than Liriano. Furthermore, yesterday Dan Gladden revealed that the Twins had long talks with the Pirates before they walked away and the Pirates worked out a deal with Houston for Rodriguez. It also appears that the Dodgers are in a standoff with the Cubs for Ryan Dempster, a standoff they’re likely to win since Dempster has already vetoed a trade to the Braves.

    That’s three “buyers” likely gone for Ryan. But it appears that there are still plenty left. Within the past month, the Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, Braves and Blue Jays have all been rumored to be interested in Liriano. Plus, the Orioles, Nationals, Mets, White Sox and Cardinals have all demonstrated they are interested in adding starting pitching. That is ten teams, albeit with varying level of interest.

    Still Lots Of Uncertainty
    But things are still moving slowly because nobody is sure exactly which pitchers are going to be available. Cole Hamels is out because he just signed an extension with Philadelphia. Matt Garza might be out, because “forearm pain” is often the first sign of an elbow ligament tear, so teams want to see him pitch again, and the Cubs say he might not. Rumors have been flying about the Marlins Josh Johnson, but the Marlins now say they would need to be blown away to trade him.

    On the other hand, Zach Greinke is almost certainly available. He’ll almost certainly be moved to teams before Liriano, because most GMs will try for Greinke first and turn to Liriano as the backup choice. It’s not clear if some other huge names like the Phillies Cliff Lee or the Rays James Shields are available because they aren’t “rental” players, so any trade would require major prospects. The buyers are going to want to explore all these options, looking for the best deal.

    The Waiting Game
    So it appears we’re going to need to wait a bit longer. Liriano hasn’t been consistent enough to make anyone overpay for him before others have signed. But it also appears that ultimately, there are going to be more teams looking for top-tier pitchers than there will be top-tier pitchers. If that stays true, it playing the waiting game is still the best hope for maximizing Liriano’s value.
    This article was originally published in blog: Evaluating Francisco Liriano’s Trade Market started by John Bonnes
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great article, and I agree about waiting for a really good deal from a team that does not get Greinke, and that is desperate for a better chance to make the postseason.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      call up the Braves... I'd take Delgado for Liriano straight up.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      I have a feeling we're going to be very disappointed in what the Twins eventually get for Liriano.

      Everybody knows the Twins need pitching, and they're willing to trade one of their best pitchers for it... what does that tell other teams about the Twins' opinion of Liriano?
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I have a feeling we're going to be very disappointed in what the Twins eventually get for Liriano.

      Everybody knows the Twins need pitching, and they're willing to trade one of their best pitchers for it... what does that tell other teams about the Twins' opinion of Liriano?
      I think other teams opinion of Liriano is enough.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      I think other teams opinion of Liriano is enough.
      Yeah, I know.

      Remember what the Twins got for Delmon Young? Yeah, me neither... that's about what I'm expecting for Liriano.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Yeah, I know.

      Remember what the Twins got for Delmon Young? Yeah, me neither... that's about what I'm expecting for Liriano.
      Trading Young was never a matter of trying to get something back - it was a matter of getting rid of a player who had checked out and was no longer a positive influence. I remember watching as a ball went over his head and hit the wall, and then watching the CF have to run over and pick it up and throw it back in because Young just stood there watching. In Young's case, it was addition by subtraction - we were a better team just for getting him out of the clubhouse.
    1. James's Avatar
      James -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Yeah, I know.

      Remember what the Twins got for Delmon Young? Yeah, me neither... that's about what I'm expecting for Liriano.
      I do remember. Lester Oliveros and Cole Nelson.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I have a feeling we're going to be very disappointed in what the Twins eventually get for Liriano.

      Everybody knows the Twins need pitching, and they're willing to trade one of their best pitchers for it... what does that tell other teams about the Twins' opinion of Liriano?
      I would say it indicates he doesn't fit into their long-term plans due to salary as much as someone who is younger and cheaper does because they're not in contention THIS year (Liriano's last under contract) and they would like to be in the future.
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      call up the Braves... I'd take Delgado for Liriano straight up.
      Why would the Braves do that deal? Liriano and Delgado have been comparable pitchers so far this year. They were giving up Delgado for Dempster who has been pitching like an ace. Liriano, even with his 10 game string, has been below average.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Yeah, I know.

      Remember what the Twins got for Delmon Young? Yeah, me neither... that's about what I'm expecting for Liriano.
      Young was a waiver claim, not a straight trade. The Twins had very little negotiating power/leverage with Young. We either had to take what Detroit offered or pull him back and keep him.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      Young was a waiver claim, not a straight trade. The Twins had very little negotiating power/leverage with Young. We either had to take what Detroit offered or pull him back and keep him.
      My blood boils every time I think about last season's trade deadline. ARGH.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
      My blood boils every time I think about last season's trade deadline. ARGH.
      I am pretty happy with the Berrios draft pick, other than that they should have def traded Kubel, Cuddyer, Capps, Thome and Young by July 31st last year.

      Actually I don't really have much of a problem with them holding onto Cuddyer, I think they legitimately wanted to try to extend him at the time. The rest should have been gone.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      I am pretty happy with the Berrios draft pick, other than that they should have def traded Kubel, Cuddyer, Capps, Thome and Young by July 31st last year.

      Actually I don't really have much of a problem with them holding onto Cuddyer, I think they legitimately wanted to try to extend him at the time. The rest should have been gone.
      I don't have big problems with Kubel and Cuddyer sticking around but the fringe pieces should have been dealt before the waiver deadline. There was absolutely NO reason to keep them around amidst that trainwreck of a season.
    1. UCLA_YANKEE_COLA's Avatar
      UCLA_YANKEE_COLA -
      I'm getting my hopes up that they'll make a surprisingly smart deadline move but it's happened, what, once? Ever? I'm guessing we see Liriano moved for Jim Hoey's brother.
    1. bulldogguy's Avatar
      bulldogguy -
      The Twins got compensation picks for the loss of Kubel and Cuddyer, so keeping them last year at the deadline allowed them to at least acquire some potential talent for down the road. This year is different, with the new rules in place, unless you want to pay some the average of the top 125...and hope they don't sign that deal...you are better off trading them. Liriano is the only one that really applies in this situation...Stick a fork in Capps.
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