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  • Ten Things I HATE About The Liriano Trade

    I started making a list of the top 10 things I hate about this trade for today’s Gleeman and the Geek podcast. I’m up to #28.

    (Kill me. Or better yet, add on in the comments section.)

    1. I hate that after waiting out the market so Liriano was the best remaining rental, the Twins traded him after his one terrible start in the last two months and less than 24 hours before a possible redeeming start.

    2. I hate that what the Twins got in return is SO much worse than what other rental pitchers brought back.


    3. I hate that despite that evidence, people will defend Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan by saying “we don’t know what offers they had.”

    4. I hate that neither player received was ranked in the top 10 of White Sox prospects by Baseball America, which relies heavily on what the organization thinks of their own prospects.

    5. I hate that since those rankings, neither player has had a particularly strong year.

    6. I hate that the Twins traded with an organization whose farm system is weaker than their own ravaged system.

    7. I hate that the only way I could think this trade made sense was if the Twins knew Liriano was hurt and hiding an injury.

    8. I hate that the Twins didn’t even attempt to negotiate with Liriano.

    9. I hate the Twins traded a high-upside player to division rival without knowing if he was willing or maybe desperate to sign a long-term extension.

    10. I hate that White Sox GM Kenny Williams first reaction must have been “How soon can I hang up this phone?”

    11. I hate that Williams 2nd reaction was likely “Hold it – this is too good. Is there something wrong with Liriano? Is he hurt?”

    12. I hate that Williams 3rd reaction was probably “Meh. Even if he is, who cares? All I’m giving up is Escobar and Hernandez!”

    13. I hate that the last time we thought a trade was almost this bad was when the Twins traded Capps for Ramos. And even then it wasn’t this unanimous. And the Twins stubbornly kept overpaying and bringing Capps back for two years to justify it.

    14. I hate that the last time we had this much complete unanimity on how bad a move by the Twins this is was back when they signed Nick Blackburn to a long-term deal, which also involved loving a low strikeout pitcher way too much.

    15. I hate that Hernandez is such a stereo-typical Twins pitcher – low strikeouts, good control. I hate that the Twin still think this is really the way to go.

    16. I hate that it makes me wonder if Scott Diamond - another low strikeout/great control pitcher with a lot of initial success - is going to end up like Blackburn/Carlos Silva/ Joe Mays sooner rather than later.

    17. I hate that the Twins, rather than walking away with their winnings on guys like this, keep doubling-down until they lose.

    18. I hate that the Twins acquired a middle infielder that can’t get on base.

    19. I hate that the Twins acquired a middle infielder that likely won’t make the top 10 prospects in their own organization.

    20. I hate that this trade reinforces that the Twins have failed to develop decent middle infielders – even when they trade for them.

    21. I hate that this trade makes me wonder if the Twins inability to develop good middle infielders doesn’t have less to do with their farm system and more to do with their philosophy and scouting.

    22. I hate the Liriano was my Gleeman and the Geek Pickpointz pick of the week, making it possibly the worst pick in the history of the game.

    23. I hate that if this was the best offer, keeping Liriano wasn’t an option.

    24. I hate that Ryan felt the need to dump Liriano for this package while simultaneously praising him for his character in the locker room, bringing into question why he didn’t keep him.

    25. I hate that the most obvious answer to that question might be fiscal. And that implies thatcut-backs could make 2013 even more painful than last year.

    26. I hate that Terry Ryan did exactly the opposite of what he said he was going to do: acquired low-upside players close to the major instead of high-upside players further from the majors.

    27. I hate that this makes me doubt Terry Ryan’s leadership of the Twins.

    28. I hate that I no longer want the Twins to trade for any more “prospects” at the trade deadline.
    This article was originally published in blog: Ten Things I HATE About The Liriano Trade started by John Bonnes
    Comments 139 Comments
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      I bet Liriano does better than Sanchez the rest of the year. Sanchez' first ever AL start bombed. He is a pitch to contact guy and these type of guys might work ok in the NL. Not the AL.
      He's a pitch to contact guy? With a 9.6% Swinging Strike percentage in his career with three of the past five seasons over 10%? Wha?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
      He's a pitch to contact guy? With a 9.6% Swinging Strike percentage in his career with three of the past five seasons over 10%? Wha?
      He has been pitching in the NL. When Pavano was pitching in the NL, he, too, was missing Ps' and light hitting IFs' bats at the same rate. When he came to the AL, those numbers dropped to where they are now... Unless you don't think that Pavano has been a pitch to contact guy. NL-numbers do not translate in the AL like that...
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Who needs facts when you can just continue to make things up as you see fit?
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Your using Pavano as an example?? Really? The guy that had like 100 ip in his first 4 years in the AL?

      Can't argue with that logic.
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Who needs facts when you can just continue to make things up as you see fit?
      I know of all people you did not just say this?
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      NL Pavano, in his 20's (prime K years), 5.9 k/9.

      AL Pavano, post injuries, mid-to-late 30's, 5.0 k/9.


      Looks like a pretty piss poor example to me, doesn't seem like much got lost in translation.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      If I'm the Pohlad boys, I can think of roughly 2 million rea$on$ to LOVE this trade.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      He has been pitching in the NL. When Pavano was pitching in the NL, he, too, was missing Ps' and light hitting IFs' bats at the same rate. When he came to the AL, those numbers dropped to where they are now... Unless you don't think that Pavano has been a pitch to contact guy. NL-numbers do not translate in the AL like that...
      Sigh. Do you really think Sanchez is going to magically lose 2.5% of his Swinging Strike % in the AL and turn into Scott Diamond?

      Clayton Kershaw has a career 10.2% Swing Strike. Matt Cain has a career 8.8%. Zack Greinke is at 8.8% as well. Yovani Gallardo is at 8.7%. Gio Gonzalez is at 9.2%. Those are half the guys in the top 10 in Ks in the NL this season.

      Anibal Sanchez is not a pitch to contact guy. It's just that simple.

      And Pavano? Really?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      NL Pavano, in his 20's (prime K years), 5.9 k/9.

      AL Pavano, post injuries, mid-to-late 30's, 5.0 k/9.


      Looks like a pretty piss poor example to me, doesn't seem like much got lost in translation.
      Not K/9... SwStr%

      his last 3 seasons in NL was in the 9-10s. Now is in the 6-7s

      Sanchez' career K/9 is in the 7s... I bet it will be in the 5s in the AL.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Not K/9... SwStr%

      his last 3 seasons in NL was in the 9-10s. Now is in the 6-7s

      Sanchez' career K/9 is in the 7s... I bet it will be in the 5s in the AL.
      Pavano being hurt for four years and generally sucking after his move to the AL had nothing to do with it, I'm sure. By the time he was effective and healthy in the AL, he was in his early 30s versus his early 20s dominance with the Marlins.

      And Sanchez' last three years of K/9... 9.3, 8.0, 8.2.
    1. Dilligaf69's Avatar
      Dilligaf69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Yeah, it was just a gut reaction because of a few things:
      1. As fans we ALWAYS want stud players in return.
      2. As Twins fans we know that Liriano still possess the nice ability to blow away batters.
      3. Many of us were guilty (me!) of thinking that Liriano would bring back a nice prospect package.
      4. I had never heard of either of the two prospects we got back.

      But after reading up on these guys it appears one or both could eventually help out our big league club, and at the end of the day we were trading a guy who has posted a 5.31 and 5.09 ERA in the past two seasons, projection is great and all but at the end of the day results matter.

      I still at this moment wish the Twins would have signed Liriano to a 2-3 year deal and I wish they could have fleeced some dumb GM out of some high upside 19 year old. Just because that didn't happen doesn't mean I'm ready to crap all over the orginzation and run Ryan out of town. These past two years have been frustrating but I have hope that Ryan can rebuild this club, its not going to come over night but once we hit the free angency we should have a better idea of his long term plan. Not to mention he still might be able to trade Pavano and Capps before August 31st (plus Span could be traded any minute now as well)

      It's one thing to be dissapointed to lose Liriano for so little at the end of the day, its another thing to use it as some bizzarre justification to fire everyone in the org, but the majority of the people who are saying that have been crying about Ryan's leadership the whole year anyways, even going as so far as to making up reports/sources of him turning down trades that were never offered. Obviously I will sound like a ridiculous homer compared to that garbage, and frankly I am glad I do.

      I feel the same way...good post!
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
      Sigh. Do you really think Sanchez is going to magically lose 2.5% of his Swinging Strike % in the AL and turn into Scott Diamond?
      Alright... Look at these links. Last column (SwStr%) :

      Peavy
      U Jimenez
      Sabathia (check his line in 2008 while with the cheeseheads)
      AJ Burnett
      Josh Beckett
      Cliff Lee (even though he has been declining due to age, his Phillies years are better than these 7s in the CLE years)

      please add anyone else you want who went from the NL to the AL (those are some names I can think from the top of my head)
      So that 2-3% drop I am talking about is not magic... it is very normal and usual and anticipated in these type of changes... check it out...
    1. Einstein's Avatar
      Einstein -
      Someone refresh my memory, when was the last time the Twins made a good trade?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Alright... Look at these links. Last column (SwStr%) :

      Peavy
      U Jimenez
      Sabathia (check his line in 2008 while with the cheeseheads)
      AJ Burnett
      Josh Beckett
      Cliff Lee (even though he has been declining due to age, his Phillies years are better than these 7s in the CLE years)

      please add anyone else you want who went from the NL to the AL
      So that 2-3% drop I am talking about is not magic... it is very normal and usual and anticipated in these type of changes... check it out...
      Peavy suffered multiple injuries.
      Ubaldo peaked and was traded on the decline. There were concerns about him well before the trade and they proved accurate.
      Sabathia was a beast during his run with the Brewers... an absolute monster. He wasn't that pitcher before and he hasn't been it since, though he's still very good. Crazy-good half seasons happen all the time.
      AJ Burnett is a freakin' headcase.
      Josh Beckett. Yeah, he saw a drop. A drop that he's slowly recovered (mostly) over the past two years.
      Cliff Lee has only seen a 1% bump.

      Either way, those drops do not equal "pitch to contact guy". Sanchez is a good pitcher. Not elite, but good. Even if he sees a drop in his Swing Strike (which he surely will), it doesn't magically make him a 5 K/9 guy. He'll probably end up somewhere around 6.5-7 K/9, which is just shy of Scott Baker territory (and not far from one of your examples, Josh Beckett)... Not exactly "pitch to contact". A middle-of-the-road guy. Not a ton of Ks but not a ton of contact, either. But you didn't say that... You called him a "pitch to contact player", which he definitely is not.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
      Either way, those drops do not equal "pitch to contact guy". Sanchez is a good pitcher. Not elite, but good. Even if he sees a drop in his Swing Strike (which he surely will), it doesn't magically make him a 5 K/9 guy. He'll probably end up somewhere around 6.5-7 K/9, which is just shy of Scott Baker territory (and not far from one of your examples, Josh Beckett)... Not exactly "pitch to contact". A middle-of-the-road guy. Not a ton of Ks but not a ton of contact, either. But you didn't say that... You called him a "pitch to contact player", which he definitely is not.
      Alright...might be semantics and we shall see about Sanchez.

      But my main point was that he is not a better pitcher than Liriano (or THAT much better, if he is) and the Twins have gotten nothing close to what the Marlins did. That's where this whole discussion was based. I think that Ryan should have done better.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Alright...might be semantics and we shall see about Sanchez.

      But my main point was that he is not a better pitcher than Liriano (or THAT much better, if he is) and the Twins have gotten nothing close to what the Marlins did. That's where this whole discussion was based. I think that Ryan should have done better.
      Peak for peak, Liriano is probably a better pitcher. But Sanchez is a much more reliable pitcher and I'd rather have him on the roster than Liriano.

      As for thinking that Liriano might be a better pitcher for the rest of the season, I think there's a possibility of that. But when a team is looking to acquire guys at the deadline (guys they probably want to extend), they're going to take the consistently above-average Sanchez over the peaks-and-deep-as-the-Mariana-Trench-valleys Liriano.

      And they're going to pay a lot more for that Sanchez-type player than they will Liriano. I'm as disappointed as anyone about this trade but it's hard to say what was available to be had. The Brewers didn't get that great a return on Greinke, either.
    1. Twinsoholic's Avatar
      Twinsoholic -
      I like the trade. The Twins got two young players: a lefty starter who has good numbers in the minors; and, a fast young middle infielder, giving the Twins more depth there when they will likely part ways with Casilla and, perhaps, Floriman, and Nishioka might never return to the Twins roster. Liriano's numbers were abysmal this season. He did have a couple of good starts of late, but he was terrible in his last start. He will be a free agent, and the White Sox cannot get any draft pick compensation if he leaves via free agency.

      Hernandez might be part of a deeper rotation at AAA next season, or he might be part of the Twins opening rotation. Hermson figures to be at AAA next season. Maybe Bromberg will be a starter there. Both Manship and Hendricks have good AAA starting numbers, so if one or both can transfer that success to the majors (as Diamond has done), then that should also be a boost for the Twins.

      The Twins were not going to get a number one starter in return for Liriana (a rental)--that Ryan got a starter with such a good minor league track record and a slick fielding middle infielder is much more than I imagined he could get for Liriano.

      So, to repeat: the trade does not look bad to me.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Alright...might be semantics and we shall see about Sanchez.

      But my main point was that he is not a better pitcher than Liriano (or THAT much better, if he is) and the Twins have gotten nothing close to what the Marlins did. That's where this whole discussion was based. I think that Ryan should have done better.
      Did you consider the Tigers at all? The Tigers seemed to prefer Sanchez and Infante because that is who they traded for. I have no inside information... I'm just basing my comment on who the Tigers actually traded for.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      Did you consider the Tigers at all? The Tigers seemed to prefer Sanchez and Infante because that is who they traded for. I have no inside information... I'm just basing my comment on who the Tigers actually traded for.
      We should also stop pretending that Infante has no value. The dude is having a very nice season for himself and is signed through 2013.
    1. Klochner's Avatar
      Klochner -
      On the bright side, he could always suck in his start against the Twins on Tuesday, thereby making him an excellent Pickpointz selection.
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