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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 -
      Yep, pretty much all of that.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      You probably should read the 2012 Baseball America prospect handbook.

      Do you really believe teams have so little understanding of sample size that one bad start or a six week good stretch in the midst of a couple of poor seasons dramatically changes trade value?

      A rental player with a two year WAR around 0 is apparently worth close to his WAR. Shocker.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Escobar is just a week of ABs (24 I believe) away from not bein a prospect anymore.
      So he was dealt for Matt Tolbert and Jeff Manship
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      John, all exceptional points. Today, Sunday, July 29, 2012, is a day that it really sucks to be Twins fan.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      19. I hate that the Twins acquired a middle infielder that likely won’t make the top 10 prospects in their own organization.
      Interesting to say (because he is not a prospect anymore since he has been in the majors all season as he is about as much a prospect as Dozier and Revere are, but I bet Escobar would not crack the list of the top 10 Twins infield prospects (1B excluded). (in no order: Sano, Rosario, Harrison, Michael, Goodrum, Grimes, Beresford, Florimon, Jorge Polanco, Danny Santana)
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Escobar is just a week of ABs (24 I believe) away from not bein a prospect anymore.
      So he was dealt for Matt Tolbert and Jeff Manship
      I hate the trade for many reasons, but both of these guys are 23 not 27 and 30. There is still hope and one can hope. (But Ryan and the old boys' club has to go... They need new blood and new thinking ASAP.)
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      I agree with jorgen. I was hoping the Twins would get someone else's reclamation project but I think a lot of people need to realize how bad Liriano's been. Since 2008, he's had a 89 ERA+ and about 4 WAR, Blackburn has had a 87 ERA+ (in many more innings) and about 3.5 WAR. Liriano has had some nice moments but most pitchers do. He's had a ton of disaster starts and we weren't going to get much for a player like that.
    1. skraft33's Avatar
      skraft33 -
      I think one reason for trading now rather than waiting after his start today is that if he has 11 or 12 starts from this point on, then they burn up about 10% of his value and would presumably get even less in return. And going by that logic, I don't know why they didn't make a push to trade him after his start against Baltimore. Everything about this trade sucks.
    1. Mick Lenhardt's Avatar
      Mick Lenhardt -
      This list assumes one big thing: That other teams valued Liriano at the same value the Twins did. The reality is that Liriano is having a terrible season, isn't the pitcher he was 6 years ago, and will never be the pitcher he was 6 years ago. To think otherwise is foolish.

      A team that has a chance to go to the post-season will look at Liriano's 5.31 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and say "He's not worth it." Every other pitcher that has been traded for better prospects is BETTER than Liriano.

      It was time for the Twins (and a lot of Twins fans) to get past "what-might-be" for Liriano and realize he is what he is. A inconsistent pitcher that has had an ERA over 5.00 three of the past four years. Twins are lucky anyone took him at all.
    1. DJSim22's Avatar
      DJSim22 -
      29. I hate that the Twins want Terry Ryan to return as full-time GM.

      30. I hate that I'll see one or both of these mediocre prospects this Sept as the Twins try to reinforce that this was somehow a good trade.

      31. I hate that I have this huuuuge headache after pounding my head into the table as I read the trade last night.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mick Lenhardt View Post
      This list assumes one big thing: That other teams valued Liriano at the same value the Twins did. The reality is that Liriano is having a terrible season, isn't the pitcher he was 6 years ago, and will never be the pitcher he was 6 years ago. To think otherwise is foolish.

      A team that has a chance to go to the post-season will look at Liriano's 5.31 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and say "He's not worth it." Every other pitcher that has been traded for better prospects is BETTER than Liriano.

      It was time for the Twins (and a lot of Twins fans) to get past "what-might-be" for Liriano and realize he is what he is. A inconsistent pitcher that has had an ERA over 5.00 three of the past four years. Twins are lucky anyone took him at all.
      Well put. Too many of us are dreaming on what could be and not the reality of what is. Oriole fans had that problem with Daniel Cabrera for years.
    1. Mick Lenhardt's Avatar
      Mick Lenhardt -
      "
      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. "

      Actually this is probably what White Sox fans are thinking....."We gave up two prospects for Liriano? HE SUCKS!"
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Escobar is a better comp with Nick Punto. He was all glove and no bat at the time the Twins traded for him in 2003. He was entering his age 26 season. If Escobar's glove is as good as the reports, he will have value. He is two years younger than Punto at the time of the trade.

      The BBA prospect handbook had three shortstops of similar age listed in the White Sox top 10. Escobar at #10 beat the other two out for a spot on the opening day roster. That has to show something about how he was valued in the organization.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mick Lenhardt View Post
      Actually this is probably what White Sox fans are thinking....."We gave up two prospects for Liriano? HE SUCKS!"
      I read the entire WSI forum thread last night (whitesoxinteractive), their initial reaction was generally positive, and they're a pretty high-strung bunch on that board.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by djsim22 View Post
      29. I hate that the twins want terry ryan to return as full-time gm.

      30. I hate that i'll see one or both of these mediocre prospects this sept as the twins try to reinforce that this was somehow a good trade.

      31. I hate that i have this huuuuge headache after pounding my head into the table as i read the trade last night.
      yep!
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Poon could/would take a walk, so at least when he hit terribly his OBP would only be poor instead of putrid.

      Escobar's track record isn't so encouraging, less than 6% walk rate in the minors.
    1. rickyhawaii's Avatar
      rickyhawaii -
      Sickels was a lot more optimistic about pedro hernandez, saying he could be a possible 4 or 5. main thing that makes hernandez likely to fail though is the lack of strike outs. if he develops into a high leverage reliever though that's decent value. Escobar's crappy hitting worries me though, he might be another easy out-rally killer. I think Florimon might be ahead on the depth chart and Daniel Santana is coming along. Another thing I hate is that twins might be done trading now.. that'd be crappy work from Ryan..
    1. twinsfan29's Avatar
      twinsfan29 -
      Liriano had continually frustrated the Twins and with the stats he had put up how much was he really worth, if one of the players contributes it was an ok deal, if the Twins really want him back he will be a FA and go after him, which I wouldn't. It's not gloom and doom, go after a good FA pitcher in off season.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      How do we know the Twins didn't negoiate with Liriano for a new contract?

      Also, Liriano may have been the best "rental" available, but there have been reports on mlbtraderumors the past few weeks where teams weren't even sure if Liriano was a starter at this point. At the end of the day he is a guy who has posted a 5.09 and 5.39 ERA's in the past 2 seasons, we all know he is "better" than that, but it is what it is. Perhaps if Liriano would have went out in his last start and thrown 9 innings, 16k we could have got more, but instead he showed just what we have seen all along, which is that you never know which Frankie you will get game in and game out.

      It sucks we didn't get better players, but at the very least Escobar allows us to shed both Caroll and Alexi's salaries next year and he can serve as the Util guy (upgrade defensively and speed) while saving the Twins 5 mil next year.

      I have zero expectations for the pitcher they got, but who knows maybe they saw something they can fix.

      The most apparent thing is that we all overvalued Liriano's true value due to a nice run of 10 starts or so, and the Twins indicated that offering him a 12.5 mil contract for 1 year was not in their best interest. So the two choices were trade him for what we could now, or lose him at the end of the season.

      Lastly, other then Turner to the Marlins I'd say that the returns for every other player traded this trade season was very underwhelming, hell, the Angels got an Ace in Greinke and had to only give up one good prospect. It's not the end of the world. Let's see what else Ryan can trade this year and let's see what free agents he can pick up in the off-season before we go jumping off god damn bridges.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Liriano is a rental, period. So who cares that he was traded to the Sox. Now the Twins have to prove that they can hit him.

      Someone compared it to getting Tolbert and Manship. Except the pitcher is a lefty and both are 23. Both can go back-and-forth to the minors for a few more years. Both probably means the Twins will say goodbye to Florimon and Bromberg this winter (which may not be all that bad).

      The Twins can offer Liriano a free agent contract and see what people are willing to overpay. Of course, if he goes 10-1 with the Sox, the Twins won't be signing him.

      Somehow, Liriano trade actually improves the Sox rotation.

      It suddenly makes me realize that Span really isn't all the worthy of a great return. Think about it.
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