• Twins Trade Francisco Liriano To White Sox

    The Minnesota Twins traded Francisco Liriano to the White Sox tonight for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-handed pitcher Pedro Hernandez. Liriano was scheduled to start Sunday's game versus the Cleveland Indians. Brian Duensing will take his turn in the rotation.

    Neither prospect the Twins received is highly, or even semi-highly, regarded. Escobar was not in Baseball America's list of the White Sox top 10 prospects prior to the season. He was #7 on Baseball Prospectus' list, but is listed as a 2-star (out of five) prospect.

    Escobar is just 23 years old and has spent this year in the majors with the White Sox. It's not clear why; it appears he have two option years left and it's hard to make a case that he's earned that promotion. Last year he hit .266 with a .303 OBP in AAA. In fact, his career OBP through all the levels of the minors is just .315 and he's struck out 100+ times in his last two years. Not too surprisingly, he's hitting .195 in the majors, albeit in just 92 plate appearances.

    Pedro Hernandez also did not not make Baseball America's top 10 and ranked 15th on the Baseball Prospectus list. He's pitched at three level this year: 12 starts in AA, two starts in AAA and a single major league start. But he's clearly been rushed through AAA with just six starts. He's 23 years old.

    He fits the stereotyped Twins pitcher - good control but not dominating stuff, or at least dominating as measure by strikeouts. His career minor league average is 7.4 K/9, which is below average. This year in AA he posted a 2.06 ERA - but also struck out just 37 batters in 68 IP. That's a lower rate than even Nick Blackburn had in AA.

    Hernandez has also never pitcher more than 116 inning in the minors or had more than 18 starts. He has been used as a reliever several time throughout the minors. However, he has shown outstanding control with a K to BB ratio approaching 5:1, although that has suffered as he has made his way up the minor league ladder.

    I've made the mistake several times of leaping to conclusions about lower level prospects that Terry Ryan has targeted who have turned out far better than I might have hoped. Jason Bartlett and Alexi Casilla both some to mind, and I'm sure there are more. But at first glance, it looks like Liriano was traded to a division rival for two C prospects that might fill needs but are long shots to have any long-lasting impact on the organization.
    Comments 189 Comments
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      We traded 12 starts. We did not trade any member of the 2013 team.
      Well said. Plus Liriano might just become his old evil twin self at any moment. Ryan was trying to get a pitcher with more upside at a single or double A level (he said as much in an interview), but it looks like this was the best deal we could land. I'm guessing the middle infielder will be a cheap replacement for Casilla who will not be resigned.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      So much for only moving players for high upside guys. At first glance, this is a pretty mediocre trade. Having read the STrib article on July trades by Ryan, my hopes are pretty much dashed at this point. Clearly both players were rushed. The Sox were considered to have one of the worst systems in all of MLB, and I can't believe they couldn't get one upside guy for Liriano from someone.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I just read through the two threads about the Liriano trade. I find it ironic that so many are thinking the Twins should have gotten more for fragile Frankie. Just like with Delmon, an uptick in performance seems to make everyone think he is an All-Star, rather than an inconsistent tease. I know nothing about the two former White Sox, but I do know that the Twins do a pretty good job of acquiring prospects. I also find it ironic that so many think that saving $1.5M by dumping Casilla is a given, but spending $12.5 as a qualifying offer for Liriano was no big deal. Unless Liriano continues his run of great pitching (minus the WS start last Monday) he won't get close to $12.5M and the Twins weren't going to risk that kind of money just so they could get a sandwich pick. It really doesn't matter that the Sox got Liriano. He is a free agent at the end of the year and the Twins aren't contenders this year.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I agree with those saying that Liriano was not going to be offered arbitration, and there would be no pick to the Twins (or, if they did offer, he'd accept). So, if this was the best offer, so be it.
    1. jlovren's Avatar
      jlovren -
      It seems as though everyone forgets what Liriano is all about. He had one good year (2006) and has never been anywhere close to that since. He had one decent year (2010) and has a ton of of up and down starts. Take out 2006 and you have a record of 38-48 and an ERA somewhere around 4.7 to 5.0. The Twins are going to save 2 million for the remainder of the year, and more than likely a lot more next year and will hopefully sign a more consistent pitcher. It is completely unrealistic to expect two B level prospects for a D level pitcher (stats alone, not potential). In my opinion, good riddance and thank you for less headaches.
    1. fatbeer's Avatar
      fatbeer -
      Quote Originally Posted by elephanthater View Post
      i agree, we got nothing out of this. I just do not get this dumping of players to division rivals for no talent in return (delmon last year to tigers, and now this).
      Heres why theres no logic to the trading to your rivals thing, who did we trade Pierzinsky to? If you rate package A higher then package B you do package A every time. Liriano was our 6th best player at best, he'll be about the 10th best White Sox player, and probably won't play for the White Sox next year.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think Escobar's career MiLB OPS summarizes everything you need to know for this trade: .666
    1. kirbyelway's Avatar
      kirbyelway -
      I giver TR the benefit of the doubt. I don't know what you people thought we were going to get for Frankie, but I do know you need to be realistic. We got a guy who will battle Florimon for next years utility job and a possible 5th starter-long relief guy. It's not like we don't need bodies in these areas.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by raindog View Post
      He just had a stretch of 10 good games in a row.
      Technically, he had a stretch of 8 good games out of his last 11. His starts on June 10, July 1 and July 23 weren't good. (Although better than his normal stuff).
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      The problem isn't with Liriano as much as the fact that he isn't the only player the Twins gave away. Next spring, who is goinng to lose a spot on the 40-man because of these two? There are several expendable players on the roster, but it can be easily argued that these guys are just as expendable and useless. A powerless, speed deprived, utility infielder who can't get on base looks to be the worst player that will be on the Twins 40-man. If the Twins again need to clear roster space, Escobar looks to be the first player I'd dump. Next year will likely be his last option year, so unless he's good enough to stay on the 25-man all of 2014, he'll be put on waivers the first time the Twins actually need some offense to replace him. He might clear waivers, but then that will go to show what the rest of the league feels about him.
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -
      To recap:

      Pedro Hernandez, Eduardo Escobar, and Deolis Guerra=Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      This is either a strong indication of our inept scouting or the league perception of Liriano. Either way we lose.
    1. James Richter's Avatar
      James Richter -
      Since his TJS, Liriano has been dreadful just as often as he's been outstanding. 122 G, 638.2 IP - these are not trivial sample sizes. Over that time, he averages out to 4.69 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and fewer than 6 IP/GS. We should be thankful that anybody was crazy enough to give up anything at all for two months of that.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      TR is a ....... joke!
    1. MidwestMeat's Avatar
      MidwestMeat -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Liriano probably accepts arb and the Twins are stuck w an even more untradeable player. The comp pick was far from guaranteed. Seriously, it's unlikely the Twins even offer arb. That said, not even exactly happy w the trade. This spells the end for casilla, methinks
      The way Escobar's stats look up to this point It would seem he won't ever have more than a cup in Minneapolis if that.....especially with Rosario coming through. I agree with some of you though...I would rather trade for a few guys that can at least stock the farm and give those managers a little consistency than let him go for nothing after he sucks again and loses what little trade value he had.

      Frankie will most likely no hit the twins...but then he will absolutely s*** the bed in the playoffs and the universe will be right again.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      I expect Liriano to win 20 games next season!
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by raindog View Post
      He just had a stretch of 10 good games in a row.
      You missed the point. What is Ryan going to say yo the media? He is going to play up his return. He is not going to badmouth Liriano and what came back. I guess I should have put a few quotation marks around it. But then I would have someone complaining Ryan never said that
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      TR in the Strib this morning "...I'm not going to say (Hernandez) pitches to contact."

      That's OK, TR, you didn't have to.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Here is a quick analysis with mini profiles and scouting reports for Escobar and Hernandez. This could be better than what it looks, but still do not like it very much. Big part of it is that he was traded to the Sux.
    1. killebrew's Avatar
      killebrew -
      The Twins weren't going to get much for Liriano. That's a given.

      What I don't like about this deal is it shows that Ryan is looking for players who could possibly help next year over higher upside guys who are farther away. The real future of this team is mostly in the low minors right now, and it would be better to enhance that group (especially with some pitching) than to put bodies on the field in 2013.
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