Trade Implications: Liriano
by, 07-29-2012 at 11:25 AM (1259 Views)
You can go read various threads and articles on this site if you want opinions on how the Twins did by trading Francisco Liriano to the division-leading Chicago White Sox.
I'm going to break down what this trade does from an organization standpoint.
It appears that the White Sox will pick up the rest of Liriano's tab for the season. This saved the Twins $2,073,800. (Their payroll is now $97,775,800 before factoring in the 25th player they need to add.)
Both Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez are slated to earn the minimum salary this year. At $2,600 per service day they could both spend the rest of the season with the big club and only make a combined $362,000. At this point, with both being assigned to Rochester, their earnings will not count towards the major-league payroll.
Removing Liriano only created one spot. The Twins moved P.J. Walters to the 60-day DL to create room for both Escobar and Hernandez.
Duensing is taking Liriano's place in the rotation, but the Twins are expected to make a move to fill his spot on the active roster today. One of Kyle Waldrop, Lester Oliveros or Deolis Guerra will be promoted to provide the Twins with another bullpen arm. When Liriano's spot comes up in the rotation next week, it would make sense for the Twins to promote Liam Hendriks.
Pedro Hernandez, who at 23, is extremely young for AAA. He ranks as the 16th youngest player on the International League circuit (only 5 days older than Deolis Guerra). Hernandez's scouting report reads very similar to Scott Diamond (great command, low strikeout rate) and he will be slotted into the Red Wings rotation. He is in his first option year and, as of today, has a grand total of 1 major league service day. Hernandez should get a shot at breaking spring training in the Twins rotation, but will more than likely start 2013 in Rochester's rotation where he can continue to work on his low-90s fastball, low-80's changeup and, most importantly, his 80mph slider/cutter.
Eduardo Escobar, also 23, is a glove-first middle-infielder. He had previously spent all of 2012 with the White Sox, but still has only amassed 141 major league service days and will have one option year remaining after this year. Barring injury (or trade) to Dozier, Casilla or Carroll, it is expected that Escobar will spend a vast majority of the rest of the season in Rochester. Terry Ryan suggested the Escobar will get "everyday at-bats", which should help improve (or, possibly, verify) his below-average offensive numbers. Short-term, it should have an effect on both Florimon's and Nishioka's playing time; long-term, Escobar could become a cheaper version of Casilla or provide the Twins with additional flexibility should they decide to move Jamey Carroll.
I wasn't going to do it, but... I think we all hoped that Liriano would net a high-ceiling, (decent) pitching prospect that we've heard of.
Hernandez doesn't exactly fit that profile, but there is potential there. At the very least, he offers another arm that could take on some major-league innings over the next couple years, though he probably doesn't become much more than a back-of-the-rotation starter or possibly a left-handed reliever.
Eduardo Escobar isn't going to hit (so that should eliminate Gardy batting him #2, right?), but their is value in his glove. Does he become their everyday SS? I highly doubt that. Could he become a valuable late-inning defensive replacement? Absolutely. Is there a need for one of those on a team that will struggle to win 70 games? Well, that's a different story. He will get a chance to break camp as a starting middle-infielder, whether that's at second or shortstop, and probably becomes a cheaper version of Alexi Casilla as early as 2013.