Should The Twins Trade Liriano?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether or not the Twins should trade Fransisco Liriano. It might sound like a good idea, but is it really?

Liriano is due to become a free agent after the 2012 season if the Twins don’t lock him to a long term deal. However, his recent deal was $4.3 million for one year. He could still sign with the Twins for a long term deal after this season, but that remains to be seen.

Last year, Liriano had his best season since 2006, the year he got injured. He had a 14-10 record with a 3.26 ERA. In 2009, he had a 5-13 record with an ERA over 5 and had to go to the bullpen in August.

I should point out, that he’s had one solid season since 2006. There’s no garentee that he would be the same form this year that he was last year. The logic is reasonable for why you would want to trade him now when his value is highest. Even if he keeps up his dominant form this season and trade him after the season, you wouldn’t get as much later as you would now.

If  the Johann Santana trade is any indication of how things work out for the Twins, there’s no garentee that what you get is going to work out. Of the 4 players that the Twins got in that deal from the New York Mets, the Twins only have 1 left in their minor leagues. However, the Twins did trade Carlos Gomez for J.J. Hardy who they then traded last December to the Baltomore Orioles for a couple of pitchers, one of whom is expected to battle for a bullpen spot.

The Twins do have 6 starters battling for 5 bullpen spots. Trading Liriano would certainly free up a spot, but starters Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowy all had hiccups at various parts of last season.

After looking at all of these arguments, I think the Twins shouldn’t simply trade Liriano. They will recieve a couple of conpensation draft picks if they do lose him to free agentcy after 2012. They should only do it if the Twins can find players in return that will benefit their organization. Plus, they will not get as much for Liriano as they did the Santana deal even if they traded Liriano now. He’s not done as well as Santana. Plus, I don’t think teams are going to give as much when they know that he’s had a history of injuries.

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One Response to Should The Twins Trade Liriano?

  1. Andrew Isker says:

    I would say it would be very advantageous for the Twins if they got in exchange something similar to what Tampa Bay got for Matt Garza. Had the Twins attempted to trade Santana with two years prior to free agency they would have had significantly better offers, because the then potential recipients of Santana would have had far less leverage (when it is down to one year or even half a year, the clock is ticking, as it were, and the trading team is under more pressure to get something in return before the player becomes a free agent). If the Twins plan on trading Liriano and getting maximum value for him, now is the time. What seems very likely is that the Minnesota Twins will go into the 2011 season with Fransisco Liriano and expectations for this season are not met, they will seriously consider trading him at the trade deadline. If the Twins do well down the stretch and make a run, perhaps even a run in the playoffs, obviously Liriano will more than likely factor highly in any Twins playoff run. After that, however, the Twins will hear trade offers around this time next year and will maybe receive half what they might right now.

    I think, with how many unknowns there are about this season, despite the Twins near-perennial organizational ability to solidify holes and sometimes even turn ostensible weaknesses into strengths, the most likely scenario is the Twins will under-perform expectations and Liriano will be dealt at the trade deadline.

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