• 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. Blake's Avatar
      Blake -
      Alexi Casilla
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Should it have made a difference where they traded him? They are not competing for the division this year. Liriano could have been in Chicago next year regardless of where he was traded.

      As for value, a C pitcher and a C hitter are pretty equivalent to a sandwich pick. There are questions whether it would have been wise to offer Liriano the 12.5 million so the Twins might have received nothing.

      If Escobar is the real deal with the glove, he will be valuable while under team control. Guys that can pick it at SS are not that easy to find for league minimum. I guess it is a plus that Hernandez is left handed. Both are young.

      Six weeks ago Liriano had no value with absolutely no chance the Twins would make a qualifying offer. Getting two C prospects for a pitcher who has had so many poor outings since the last two seasons can't be seen as a bad trade. Does anyone think Ryan turned down better offers? Let's spend the 12.5 million elsewhere next year and we have what looks like two guys who will have major league careers. What do we lose? The remaining Liriano starts in 2012. Nothing else.
      Additionally, does anyone believe Matt Capps, Carl Pavano, Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Alexi Casilla will be returning next year?

      Granted, Nishioka isn't in the Majors, but, doesn't that clear another spot on the 40 man?

      If Casilla and Nishioka are gone after this year, it only makes sense to fill one of the roster spots with an infielder.

      And, I suspect there is a chance Blackburn is gone after this season. At some point, the team is just going to have to cut ties and eat some salary.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Ok, hopefully trade time is done. This is just terrible. Trading within THE DIVISION is one thing, but doing it and getting next to nothing in return for a guy who at least is 50% very good, is absolutely ridiculous.
    1. jctwins's Avatar
      jctwins -
      Not the move I was hoping for, but I assume they don't make this deal unless Coop can pinpoint something he knows he can fix.

      I just had a chilling vision of Escobar turning into Punto 2.0 and tormenting the Sox for years.
      For the win on WSI.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      We don't need a 5th starter type and a middle infielder with low upside.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      I'm going back to sleep and when I wake back up, somebody had better made this right again.
    1. Texas Mike's Avatar
      Texas Mike -
      As stated, most of you view the 2006 Francisco Liriano as the current Francisco Liriano. He has been awful since with a rare good-to-great start, and the gentleman who posted the 122 post-TJ starts with a 1.42 WHIP shows me that Frankie is JAG material. In addition, what is the functional objection that he was traded to a "divisional rival"? We are not in contention and there is no guarantee that Liriano signs with the Sox next year. The return is ho hum for a ho hum pitcher who is 6 years removed from a very good season. This is neither a good or a bad move, and inserting "they could have gotten X" for him pretends that someone actually offered X for him. Highly doubtful that TR would say, "no I'm not going to take very good X, and instead take wto middling prospects instead." They only valid point here regards the trades impact on the 40 man roster as the team moves forward.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Sadly both have to be added to the 40-man roster and stay on the 40-man roster. And one needs to contribute in the next two years, the other the next three. So we trade Frankie for two players that we have to immediately protect, but may not be as needed as others already in our system that may need protection. Go figure.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      John, you missed it.
      Escobar was 10th by Baseball America entering the 2012 season.
      He was also 5th for the Sox entering the 2011 season
      He was also 19th entering the 2010 season.
      Still suxx no matter where he was listed
      Dont we already have this guy, just names Pedro Florimon in AAA??
      What BA list are you looking at? Is there another one? I don't see him here:

      http://www.baseballamerica.com/today...2/2612801.html
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Who else can't wait until we face liriano for the first time though? That should be fun!
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Also it should be noted that perhaps at the end of the day there just wasn't much interest in Frankie. I mean look at who the angels gave up for grienke. The market was pretty weak this year it seems. Though I still wish they would have gotten him to stick around on a 2 year deal, maybe he will get homesick and resign in the offseason? One can hope...
    1. minn55441's Avatar
      minn55441 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      I expect Liriano to win 20 games next season!
      I'll take some of that action. You put up $100 I'll give you my house.
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      You guys crack me up. Is there ever going to be any situation that will make you happy?

      The Twins decided Liriano was not going to be back next year and they weren't going to offer him the qualifying offer, so they made the best deal they felt they could. Who cares where he went this year. The Twins are not going to win the division this year. If they kept him through this year, he could still go to the White Sox (see Jesse Crain). They could trade him somewhere else and he could still end up in the division (see AJ Pierzynski).

      You guys all called for Liriano to be dumped after the horrible start, sat around waiting for the other shoe to drop while he was pitching well, and now that he's traded, complain we didn't get enough for him. You are already complaining about the 40 man roster for next year?

      Everybody needs to look at the reality of the situation and chill out. We got a utility infielder and middle reliever, both young and under team control. You were expecting Miguel Cabrera?
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      What BA list are you looking at? Is there another one? I don't see him here:

      http://www.baseballamerica.com/today...2/2612801.html
      I am pretty sure he was looking at their 2012 prospect handbook which is usually the first source. In it he was ranked 10th this year. Lists are fluid as trades are made.
    1. JA's Avatar
      JA -
      Congrats Jon! You did a great job pointing out the negative.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
      You guys crack me up. Is there ever going to be any situation that will make you happy?

      The Twins decided Liriano was not going to be back next year and they weren't going to offer him the qualifying offer, so they made the best deal they felt they could. Who cares where he went this year. The Twins are not going to win the division this year. If they kept him through this year, he could still go to the White Sox (see Jesse Crain). They could trade him somewhere else and he could still end up in the division (see AJ Pierzynski).

      You guys all called for Liriano to be dumped after the horrible start, sat around waiting for the other shoe to drop while he was pitching well, and now that he's traded, complain we didn't get enough for him. You are already complaining about the 40 man roster for next year?

      Everybody needs to look at the reality of the situation and chill out. We got a utility infielder and middle reliever, both young and under team control. You were expecting Miguel Cabrera?
      Best line on here--admit I skimmed some of the 8 pages.

      TR and rest of Twins mgt. knew they couldnt risk offereing Frankie $12mill next year--he could take it--he should take it. So they got 2 AAAA players--maybe one will improve maybe not. They dumped Frankie. The Twins werent gonna get a compensation pick. Maybe Frankie gets 3 years $20 million from some fool. Maybe not. Not the Twins problem
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Maybe Mr. "Won't Necessarily Pitch to Contact" will turn into Diamond 2.0.
    1. deanlambrecht's Avatar
      deanlambrecht -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Kudos... Perfect line to describe the situation.

      It seems that no one likes their X mas present.

      The Twins were not going to offer him 12 million for the comp pick because he might take it.

      His trade value was about to hit the wall at the trade deadline. If no one offered a better package of players. You have to take the deal or you get nothing. And then we have a handful of starts in a Twins uniform(the farewell tour) on a team that isn't going to make the playoffs... Even if we score 30 runs this weekend against the Indians.

      With Span you can set the price high and keep him if the price isnt paid... With Morneau you can do the same because they are coming back. Under contract... It says so... With Willingham the same. Liriano was gone... There was almost no possibility of him playing for the Twins in 2013.

      Liriano wasn't going to be offered a contract next year. They can't spend that kind of money on someone who melts down as often as he has and believe me the Twins have had a front row seat for everyone of those meltdowns.

      I'm disappointed... I had dreams of a boatload of pitching prospects coming back but to be indignant over the deal is to assume that the Twins turned down something larger to make this trade.

      Does anyone believe that TR turned down Terehen and Delgado to make this deal instead. C'mon... can we give him the benefit of the doubt that he looked at what was out there and chose the best package.
      Exactly this.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      Maybe Mr. "Won't Necessarily Pitch to Contact" will turn into Diamond 2.0.
      That's the only glimmer of hope I can take away from this trade. Unfortunately, the chance of striking gold twice on that type of player is pretty slim.
    1. jctwins's Avatar
      jctwins -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Who else can't wait until we face liriano for the first time though? That should be fun!
      Yeah, interestingly Floyd is still listed as the probable for today, and the White Sox are here Monday, so I am guessing he stays home today and joins the club tomorrow here in Minnesota.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I also meant to post I do not care he was dealt inside the division. It does not matter at all to the outcome for the twins.
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