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  • 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. minn55441's Avatar
      minn55441 -
      I guess a lot of this discussion revolves around how you think Frankie will pitch over the second half of the season. Regardless of your criteria, wins, ERA, WAR, innings pitched etc... do really think he will pitch well enough to improve his value next offseason? I don't think he will pitch well enough to warrant a multi-year deal let alone one for 12 million plus.

      I guess we just wait and see.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      Keep him and take the single comp pick which has a better chance of being a meaningful player than either of these schlubs?
      It's also very likely that Liriano will continue to suck as a pitcher and we'd be left with nothing for him.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      It's also very likely that Liriano will continue to suck as a pitcher and we'd be left with nothing for him.
      You mean, besides a comp pick?
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by minn55441 View Post
      I guess a lot of this discussion will revolves around how you think Frankie will pitch over the second half of the season. Regardless of your criteria, wins, ERA, WAR, innings pitched etc... do really think he will pitch well enough to improve his value next offseason? I don't think he will pitch well enough to warrant a multi-year deal let alone one for 12 million plus.

      I guess we just wait and see.
      Some front office will bite on his potential, even if he's unimpressive the rest of this year. There's no way a guy with Liriano's injury history takes a one year deal when he's one bad tweak of his elbow away from the end of his career, and someone will throw at least 3/$20 at him.
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      Keep him and take the single comp pick which has a better chance of being a meaningful player than either of these schlubs?
      First of all, you have to offer him more than $12 million and have him turn it down to get a comp pick. I don't think Liriano's turning that down, because despite the "wisdom" shown on this board, major league GMs know he isn't worth that money. So we'd be stuck sinking too much money into a guy with a 5 ERA, and come next season we're in the exact same position.

      Second of all, you get one sandwich pick, and statistically, that one pick isn't likely to be a good major league player. Hell, many of those picks don't even make it to AAA. On the other hand, you trade Liriano for what we traded him for, and you get... two AAA players! Including one who was just traded for Carlos Quentin. I think some people here might be bad at math.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      You mean, besides a comp pick?
      The Twins wouldn't give him a qualifying offer if he has a 5.00 era and 0 (or lower) WAR (both of which are better than his current numbers). And if they did, he'd take it so we'd be stuck with a 12.5m for a cruddy pitcher.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      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
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      You mean, besides a comp pick?
      Dude, look up the new CBA and while you're at it, quit spewing this line.
    1. minn55441's Avatar
      minn55441 -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      Some front office will bite on his potential, even if he's unimpressive the rest of this year. There's no way a guy with Liriano's injury history takes a one year deal when he's one bad tweak of his elbow away from the end of his career, and someone will throw at least 3/$20 at him.
      That's a good point, there maybe someone out there willing to give him 3/$20. But I don't think that he could turn down $12 for one year if we offered it to him. Even if there was a 25% chance of him taking the offer, we can't afford to make that mistake. We don't want him pitching for us anymore. that decision had been made. We can't afford to make him an offer, or he might accept.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      This sucks
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      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
      Liriano has enough service time. He's out of his arb years.
    1. daveha's Avatar
      daveha -
      It's as if Ryan just wants to GET PAST THIS SEASON [after suffering an equally bad one last year]. If he drops some more salary, who cares if he trades what few assets the Twins have for next to nothing? [The trick was always to package Liriano with Span.] Now I'm getting cold sweats thinking about what new plots TR is about to hatch. Span for Fidel Castro's driver? Willingham for Marta? Morneau for Ricky Ricardo?
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Twins acquired LHP Pedro Hernandez and INF Eduardo Escobar from the White Sox for LHP Francisco Liriano.

      Hernandez was shelled for eight runs on 12 hits over just four innings earlier this season in his major league debut and hasn't been back since. He has a cool 2.94 ERA this year on the farm, but he's also sporting a weak 5.7 K/9. The 23-year-old southpaw simply does not possess dominant stuff
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by 70charger View Post
      First of all, you have to offer him more than $12 million and have him turn it down to get a comp pick. I don't think Liriano's turning that down, because despite the "wisdom" shown on this board, major league GMs know he isn't worth that money. So we'd be stuck sinking too much money into a guy with a 5 ERA, and come next season we're in the exact same position.

      Second of all, you get one sandwich pick, and statistically, that one pick isn't likely to be a good major league player. Hell, many of those picks don't even make it to AAA. On the other hand, you trade Liriano for what we traded him for, and you get... two AAA players! Including one who was just traded for Carlos Quentin. I think some people here might be bad at math.
      As I stated in a different reply, someone is offering Liriano multiple years at well over $12M. If someone offers him $20M, even over 3 years, that's an extra $7.5M for a guy who has already had two serious arm injuries in his career. He's not taking the qualifying offer and saying "I'll get paid next year". He's taking the money and running, since he knows if he has one more arm issue, there is no more "next year" for his baseball career.

      And as far as "two AAA players" goes: One has a mid 600s OPS in 2500 minors PAs, and the other profiles as a reliever at best, and has progressively struck out less and less batters as he moved up, to where he's now at a Pavano-esque level. (Unless the staggeringly large 17 IP sample in AAA is to be believed. Which it most assuredly isn't.) Yippee.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Twins acquired INF Eduardo Escobar and LHP Pedro Hernandez from the White Sox for LHP Francisco Liriano.

      Escobar is batting just .207/.281/.276 in 36 major league games this season and produced a weak .666 OPS across 579 games in the minors. He's only 23 years old but the infielder seems doubtful to ever become a reliable everyday player in the bigs.
    1. SDTwinsFan's Avatar
      SDTwinsFan -
      Honestly, I don't care about the prospects. I'm just absolutely furious he went to the White Sux....
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Although this trade smells of the rotting private parts of a dead giraffe in the hot African sun... maybe there is a silver lining to this trade. I do not want to mention his given christian name, but the Latino Pitcher Whisperer should now be given his walking papers... oh ****... we still have Deduno. My bad.
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by SDTwinsFan View Post
      Honestly, I don't care about the prospects. I'm just absolutely furious he went to the White Sux....
      Meh. Career win-loss record post-Tommy John is 38-49.

      Rather than losing games for the Twins, he can now lose games against the Twins.
    1. Rivas#1Fan's Avatar
      Rivas#1Fan -
      Come on guys! Liriano is not good enough to warrant 4+ pages worth of discussions of his trade.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by minn55441 View Post
      That's a good point, there maybe someone out there willing to give him 3/$20. But I don't think that he could turn down $12 for one year if we offered it to him. Even if there was a 25% chance of him taking the offer, we can't afford to make that mistake. We don't want him pitching for us anymore. that decision had been made. We can't afford to make him an offer, or he might accept.
      Say I offer you $50K (paid up front) to work for my company next year. I then offer you $100K (all up front) to work for my company for the next for three years, but there's a 10% chance you'll be crippled in a car accident in the next year and never work again. Either way, you keep all the money. Which do you take?
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