If the Twins make Francisco Liriano available…

Yankees call off deal with The Viz
Estimating 2011 Innings Limits
(Charlie Neibergall/AP)

The story, though only a few hours old, has made its rounds. On Wednesday evening The Minnesota Star Tribune’s Joe Christensen wrote that the Twin would consider trading Francisco Liriano, perhaps as early as this spring. Liriano doesn’t factor into the team’s long-term plans, writes Christensen, and with six possible starters on board they could use Liriano to help shore up an area of need, perhaps in their infield.

Even weak rumors of Liriano’s possible availability will certainly pique the interest of Yankees fans. He established himself throughout baseball in 2006 when he appeared in 28 games and made 16 starts, finishing with a 2.16 ERA. He possessed the beneficial combination of strikeouts and ground balls, and all indications were that he fit the bill of a true ace. Then came Tommy John surgery, which cost him a full season and perhaps affected two more. But in 2009 Liriano returned to his high-strikeout, low-walk, high-groundball ways. While his ERA was 3.62, his peripherals suggest that he might have better results in store.

Why, then, would the Twins want to trade him? His health record probably headlines the list. He had injury problems in the minor leagues, which played a part in the Giants’ decision to trade him in a package for A.J. Pierzynski. Then, at the end of his spectacular debut season, he missed the final month and a half with elbow and forearm problems that required Tommy John surgery to correct. That cost him 2007. When he came back in 2008 he wasn’t the same, and things didn’t get better in 2009. What’s even more concerning is that he spent time on the DL that year with what was termed elbow fatigue.

In 2010 Liriano demonstrated a full recovery, striking out more than a batter per inning and allowing just nine home runs all season. Still, he had his issues. He still pitched only 191.2 innings in 31 starts, which isn’t quite ace material. According to Christensen, he also developed a reputation for faltering in tight spots. All of this might motivate the Twins to explore trade situations. I’m not sure they’d consider a move in the spring; having six able starters is a blessing. But maybe if they fall out of the race they’d consider trading him mid-season.

We learned earlier in the winter that the Yankees already inquired on Liriano. There certainly has to be some level of interest. But as in all trade situations, the key lies in the return. Jesus Montero‘s name will likely come up, but I wouldn’t trade him for Liriano. As was the case with Zack Greinke, Liriano has just two years until free agency. That’s not enough cheap control to justify trading Montero. Surely any trade would involve Manny Banuelos, and since the Twins’ infield is in something of a disarray, I assume Eduardo Nunez would also be part of a package.

I’m not sure if that’s enough for the Twins. That will depend on what other teams offer, and whether the Twins are really motivated to move Liriano. Even if they are, I’d be hesitant to deal with them. These aren’t the same Twins that traded Johan Santana for four spare parts. Their 2011 payroll is already over $100 million, and they’re expected to contend in the AL Central. How will it help them to trade the only pitcher who approximates an ace? Even if he doesn’t factor into their long-term plans, he can still fit into their 2011 and 2012 plans.

A name such as Liriano might sound appealing, but if a team is willing to trade a pitcher like that there’s always something else going on. We’ll see the Yankees connected to him for sure, but I would be surprised to see a situation really develop. There’s just too much that doesn’t make sense about the Twins’ reported willingness to trade him.

email
Yankees call off deal with The Viz
Estimating 2011 Innings Limits
  • Robert

    Liriano for Mitre.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Too much. Igawa or no dice.

      • Esteban

        Igawa + Wordekemper. Get it done Cash.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

    The only way they are moving him is if they were absolutely blown away. Having 6 starters is a terrible reason to trade your absolute best pitcher, and I don’t buy that reasoning. If they were to trade him now, it would have be for an insane haul. He hasn’t demanded a trade, they have won two straight division titles, and again, he’s their best pitcher. They aren’t financially motivated to move him, they aren’t at risk of losing him in free agency (yet), he hasn’t demanded a trade and the fully expect to contend.

    • mbonzo

      This is really stretching it, but they might be weighing their options now for June or July. Their division has improved with the White Sox and Tigers, and it would be hard to call the Twins the favorites of the AL Central anymore. They might be storming up talks in case they start losing this season. If it looks like they won’t make the post season by June, you’re essentially only losing 1 year of Liriano for some long term prospects. This makes more sense to me, but its a stretch.

    • Ted Nelson

      It could be a sell high opportunity for two reasons:

      1. Durability/performance. He’d never pitched more than 136 innings before 2010, then he pitched 191.

      2. Contract. They’re not going to lose him yet, but that makes him more valuable then when they’re about to lose him. If he does repeat 2010, he’s going to be in-line for maybe a 9 figure deal as a lefty who will hit free agency entering his 28 year old season. That limits the market of teams who think of him as a long-term play rather than a one year rental if they wait till 2012 to deal.

      So, he could lose trade value whether he has a bad/injured season or has a good season and is one year closer to his payday.

  • http://dosrevival.com Joe DiMaggio’s Ego-Ghost

    Not the same Twins? The GM was Bill Smith back then. They’ve also been pretty good since about 2002. That being said I doubt they trade Liriano for anything less than a haul, but if it was, say, Banuelos/Nunez/B-prospects, I would do it. He’s a beast.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      Twins payroll, 2007: $71 million
      Twins payroll, 2008: $56 milllion
      Twins payroll, 2010: Over $100 million

      They have money, and they’re willing to use it. That wasn’t the case before.

      • mike

        although the economy in their neck of the woods isnt getting much better, and a payroll aroung $100mm (plus ancillary costs) might be a little too much to take on.

        moving salary/ getting cost-effective replacement options is what has kept them in contention for almost 10 years, so this might be their easiest-to-trade guy who is making the most money

  • Esteban

    Who wouldn’t give up Montero? I think I would, but not with anybody else good.

    • Avi

      I wouldn’t. You should be able to get Liriano (who I like a lot) without giving up Montero. The Yankee system is so deep that they can trade for Liriano without giving up Montero and still overpay. Fortunately it’s a moot point with mauer and Morneau entrenched at C and 1B.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Two years of injury-prone Liriano for Montero? No thanks. I’d absolutely love to get Liriano on the club but not for Montero.

      • Esteban

        Well I was on the fence, leaning yes, but I wouldn’t push to trade Montero.

        So you’re going anybody but Montero?

        • mbonzo

          I’d try so damn hard to keep Banuelos out of that trade too, but if it has to be done than I’d make it happen.

          • Avi

            Yeah I agree. Tell them they can have any one pitcher, their choice. Hopefully they choose Betances or better yet Brackman.

            • Avi

              Btw I’d be the least bit shocked if Brackman had a better career than the other B’s but right now you’d have to rank them Manny/Dellin/Brack, in that order.

    • johnny

      I agree. The luxury here is you likely have until June to continue to evaluate him. I can’t see a major prospect commitment before you at least see a good sample of what may lie ahead, not just what we saw last year in terms of being consistently effective. That’s not to say the Yankees or another team won’t take the gamble, but personally I wouldn’t. We may have to face the fact that we only have the makings of a very good team this year, and spend it deciding how to best use our prospects. Which are going to help the club long term and which ones to move, and for who. I don’t know, i just hope cash and co do

  • Avi

    Great post Joe. I have nothing to add.

  • mbonzo

    If I was the Twins I would say Banuelos or bust, but do you think Cashman could pull off Betances, Heathcott, and Laird for Liriano? I wouldn’t mind throwing in Nunez just to get rid of the people saying he’ll be the next Jeter.

    • http://dosrevival.com Joe DiMaggio’s Ego-Ghost

      I don’t think that it would be possible without one of Banuelos/Betances.

    • Ted Nelson

      “I wouldn’t mind throwing in Nunez just to get rid of the people saying he’ll be the next Jeter.”

      Who has ever said this? I can honestly say I’ve never heard anyone say Eduardo Nunez was going to be the next Jeter. Maybe a bridge once Jeter retires/switches positions, or his replacement if he is injured, or his back-up… but that’s about the only times I’ve heard them mentioned together.

      People think he can be a solid starting SS, but that says more about the scarcity of SS than about Eduardo Nunez’s ability.

  • OldYanksFan

    I agree. If he could be had for non-prime prospects, it’s worth looking at. But I think we have to give Jesus a shot to reach his potential.

  • Jerkface

    Glory be to cashman if he can pry Liriano from the Twins for something less than Banuelos and Montero. Hopefully he can dump Romine before he tanks his stock further.

  • Chip

    I honestly don’t know if I’d be willing to give up Banuelos on him. I’d go with Betences/Laird/Nunez/Adams but I’m not sure if that has the quality that the Twins would be able to ask. Of course, that could change by mid-season if any of those guys are absolutely blowing away the competition

  • Jerkface

    Can the twins really ask for so much for such an injury prone guy as Liriano? He didn’t kick that much ass last year.

    • Chip

      9.44 K/9 2.72 BB/9 .42 HR/9 and 53.6% GB rate would disagree. That’s some major ass being kicked. His FIP was 2.66, he essentially got quite unlucky with ground balls and his strand rate was a bit below average (although that has always been the case with him so maybe it’s normal).

      • Mike HC

        He also pitched in a very pitcher friendly, home run suppressing home ball park. He pitched far worse on the road. I’m not saying he is not a very good pitcher, but he is not a slam dunk untouchable ace at this point.

        • Chip

          You are aware that he actually pitched better on the road right? You’re completely overstating the park effects, he was damn good last year. I don’t think anybody said he was an untouchable ace but he’s probably in the top 10-15

          • Mike HC

            He had a 3.11 era and 1.18 whip at home and 4.25 era and 1.39 whip on the road. So not sure what stats you are looking at.

            • FIPster Doofus

              Better K/9, HR/9 and FIP on the road. His road BABIP was far higher than it was at home (.359 vs. .309); hence the worse road ERA and WHIP.

              • Mike HC

                True, he definitely strikes guys out everywhere. And he kept the homers down everywhere too. Minn was undoubtedly a pitchers park though and the results do end up backing that up. You guys are probably right though that the ballpark factor is not really a big deal. Liriano is really good when healthy no matter where he pitches.

      • Jerkface

        And yet he only went 6 innings per game and a 4 road ERA, the aforementioned injury prone-ness, and he’ll only be had for 2 years. Not worth the big guns in the Yankee system.

        • Chip

          You think he’s going to continue a .359 BABIP on the road next year? Think that 69% strand rate is also going to continue? I’ll take 6 innings of 2.5 FIP once every five days for the next two years please

          • Jerkface

            I will also take that, but not for Montero or Banuelos.

          • Avi

            Yeah the home/road splits look like a fluke to me. He actually gave up less homers on the road (3) than he did at home (6).

            • Ted Nelson

              Hard to say it’s a fluke when it’s even more pronounced on his career than in 2010.

          • Ted Nelson

            “You think he’s going to continue a .359 BABIP on the road next year?”

            His career BABIP on the road is .338 and he’s only been below .330 one season… so, yeah I do think it can continue.

            “Think that 69% strand rate is also going to continue?”

            Again, 69% on his career.

            His career FIP is higher on the road, his career xFIP is higher on the road, his career K/BB on the road is almost 1/2 what it is at home, his career WHIP is higher on the road…

  • Mike HC

    Agreed. He is not worth Montero. Depending on who the Twins like in our system, some combination of the Killer B’s, Warran, Adams, Nunez and our high upside low minors guys should easily be able to put together one of the best offers the Twins receive, if the Twins are serious about dealing him. I wouldn’t offer them some godfather type of deal, even if it does not include Montero, just to pry him loose or anything like that. The Twins have to come to the table too to a certain extent.

  • Fran

    Unless they can get him for a steal I say no. I could see a good pitcher coming available at the deadline. I would keep my eye on a team like Florida they have no shot of doing anything for a few years with the way the Phillies are stacked and you have atlanta with a nice team. Not to mention it looks like washington is willing to spend money so where does that leave florida.

    • twac00

      The Marlins are moving into a new ballpark so they won’t be trading they’re top guys anytime soon.

      • twac00

        *their

  • Avi

    Other than the elbow that he had TJ surgery on did Liriano have any arm injuries?

    • mbonzo

      Yes, including one in August of last season.
      http://www.baseballinjurytool.com/

      • Avi

        Cool website. I’m not sure if “fatigue” qualifies as an injury. The important thing is that he’s never had a shoulder issue (at least in the majors). The elbow was an issue but he had TJS. Best injury listed there: root canal.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          He had shoulder troubles in the minors, many any years ago. That’s why the Giants were willing to trade him.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Looking at the deals for some of the ace like pitchers with a couple years left on their contracts there is no way that the Twins could ask for Montero unless it was a straight up deal and even then. This is more true if this deal is happening in June or July. If the Yankees want to get Liriano I agree that Banuelos is a very nice starting point and then their choice of Adams/Nunez and maybe a couple of lower level players maybe a guy like Murphy or Bryan Mitchell, but even that is a little bit of stretch. However, the overriding rule is that this and all trade proposals mentioned here suck and in all likelihood if a trade were to happen it would be random players that we would all say “uhh”.

    • Mike HC

      Because there are a ton of other factors involved in trades than just straight on field value of the players.

      • YankeesJunkie

        Exactly! The trade might be Liriano for Wordekemper and Vendettie because the GM of the Twins likes switch pitchers and players from Creighton. The point is we do not know.

        • Mike HC

          Yup, I’m with you.

          • Avi

            I think if the Yanks trade for Liriano it’s a pretty safe bet a B will be going to Minnesota. As far as the other players involved who the heck knows?

            • YankeesJunkie

              I agree, but you never know, I mean look what the Angels gave up for Haren and what the Yankees had to give up for Haren IMO both asking prices were quite low.

        • MannyGee

          wait a minute… CASHMAN LIKES SWITCH PITCHERS AND PITCHERS FROM CREIGHTON! That’s why he never re-signed Aceves!

          Its all clear now

  • Nick

    I would give up ramiro pena

    • Pasqua

      Your generosity knows no bounds.

  • Avi

    Does anybody have a list of potential free agents after the 2012 season? I can’t find one anywhere and it’s annoying cuz those are the guys that are likely to become available to the Yanks via trade.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Cot’s Baseball Contracts is the place to go!

      • Avi

        Nah Cot’s doesn’t have it.

        • MannyGee
          • Avi

            No that’s a list of free agents for the 2012 season (they become free agents after the 2011 season). I’m looking for a list of players that become free agents after the 2012 season.

            • MannyGee

              ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. you want 2013 FA’s.

              nah, they dont have that…

  • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

    What, is Liriano’s K rate too high for their liking? He doesn’t fit in with the Twins’ revolving door of unexciting, low-K/9 strike throwers so I guess he’s the odd man out.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      He’s too non-white for them

      • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

        He ranks 25th in Grit Factor™ category on their active roster.

    • Chip

      I thought the same thing. Maybe their infielders have clauses in their contracts that they must field a minimum number of balls. I hear Nova throws a sinker, let’s trade them straight up!

    • MannyGee

      he’s no Doug Fister or Boof Bonser, I’ll tell you that much.

    • Ted Nelson

      Posted this above:

      It could be a sell high opportunity for two reasons:

      1. Durability/performance. He’d never pitched more than 136 innings before 2010, then he pitched 191.

      2. Contract. They’re not going to lose him yet, but that makes him more valuable then when they’re about to lose him. If he does repeat 2010, he’s going to be in-line for maybe a 9 figure deal as a lefty who will hit free agency entering his 28 year old season. That limits the market of teams who think of him as a long-term play rather than a one year rental if they wait till 2012 to deal.

      So, he could lose trade value whether he has a bad/injured season or has a good season and is one year closer to his payday.

  • Avi

    Left handed hitters against Lirinao last year: .218/.250/.267 with 0 HR 4BB’s and 52K’s. Me like.

    • YankeesJunkie

      While Liriano fits well into any ball park he fits especially well at Yankee Stadium. If the Yankees were somehow to add Liriano sometime in the season and he continues to pitch close to how he did last year the Yankees move into the favorite position fairly quickly IMO.

    • AndrewYF

      Screw starting, he’ll be the best LOOGY EVER!

      • MannyGee

        /lockdown bullpen’d

  • A.D.

    Definitely an intriguing option, and don’t see why people wouldn’t be willing to give up a B for Liriano. He might be a bit injury prone, but realistically so are Betances and Brackman (if you’re going to label Liriano that) and realistically what can one expect from them a 2.66 FIP?

    Sure you give up team controlled years, but for a pitcher actually in the majors, and that as the Yankees you can afford to extend a few years

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    I don’t think now is the right time to make a trade for anyone who is not elite and on a super good contract (which isn’t going to happen, obviously). Yes, the names at the back of our rotation look ugly, but it’s February and we don’t know what those guys are going to give us for three months. Likewise, a lot of teams think they’re going to be contending this year and by June they’ll be out of it. I don’t like the idea of giving up prime talent at this point for someone we may not need, especially if that means we no longer have the talent to get someone even better in June or July. Yes, I know the games in April, May and June count just as much as those in July, August and September, but at the same time, they don’t. Our offense is good enough that we can get by with replacement level starters for a few months until we can acquire someone. I have no doubt that we’ll be able to get a good to great starter before the deadline.

    (Disclaimer: Sorry, this was a ramble. I hope it made sense, but I’ve been drinking)

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Liriano is pretty elite, though, that’s the thing. I agree I don’t want to give up Montero for him, and Banuelos would hurt too, but just about anyone else is fair game. I know you gotta give up to get but look what the Twins got for Santana, who was a better pitcher than Liriano (that’s not meant to insult Liriano, just point out that Johan Santana was really fucking good).

      • Ted Nelson

        He’s been elite for about 1.75 seasons, though…

        “I know you gotta give up to get but look what the Twins got for Santana, who was a better pitcher than Liriano”

        The problem right now, to me is that the Yankees seem to be in terrible bargaining position. Liriano’s stock is at it’s highest since 2006 and they’re not as motivated yet financially as with Santana. The Yankees are probably not just competing against other trade packages, but also the Twins holding onto Liriano. On the other hand, CC is the only “certain” thing in the Yankees rotation. Hughes has one year of decent, but not all that good, pitching. Burnett’s value is at an all-time low. Then 4 and 5 are undecided between a B prospect, minor league deal guys, and prospects who aren’t ready for the show.

        Right now I would think Liriano is available if the Yankees blow the Twins away. As the season progresses maybe the Yankees actually lose leverage, but I think their leverage is so low right now it’s worth the risk. I think Garcia will surprise some people. And between Hughes and Burnett hopefully at least one improves on 2010. Plus the more time that passes the closer Liriano is to free agency.

  • Big Juan

    IIRC, the Twins traded Ramos for Capps last year, leaving a possible void at catcher. If something like Romine, Nunez and Warren (maybe it has to be Betances, I’m not sure) gets it done, I think I’d be pretty pleased.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Liriano was one of the best pitchers last year in the AL. I would be shocked if the Yankees could get away without giving a guy like Banuelos which I would be fine with because you are getting a proven commodity for a VERY promising 19 yr old who has barely pitched in AA.

    • A.D.

      leaving a possible void at catcher

      Well they do have Joe Mauer

      • MannyGee

        Well they do have Joe Mauer

        meh… if he fist pumped more, you might be onto something.

  • JohnC

    Banuelos is the one pitcher I would NOT give up. Anyone of the others are fair game

    • vinny-b

      pretty much.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Joba and Cervelli go and any other non-Montero/Banuelos minor leaguer. Get it done Cash. We need a major league lefty starter this year!

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Resist all temptations to part with your high number prospects for Liriano. I equate Liriano’s ability to my love of the Chevy Corvette circa ’65-’67. I date myself but who’s kidding who here. Its a simple beautiful car with a great motor and handles like a stallion absent all of today’s tech. When I was younger next to visions of pretty girls the vet was what I needed. Well I was fortunate to get one of my visions never the vet but life went on as usual.

    What I trying to say Liriano would be nice to have but in no way worth the killer B’s or Montero. Nunez you can have and whatever. The product desired looks great on the outside but flawed on the inside.

    • vinny-b

      know all about the ’67 Vette. Tryin to understand that analogy tho…??

      • LarryM.,Fl.

        vinny-b, I guess that my analogy is the car is beautiful, runs well, exciting to drive but lacks today’s tech. to perform even better. Liriano is a very good pitcher but has an injury background. Thus limitations on his ability to perform or if that’s a poor explanation. Don’t overpay for him in a trade, no blue chips.

  • http://rotoimbeciles.com george hubschman

    How about Triple-A SP, David Phelps, Eduardo Nunez, Austin Romine, Adam Warren and a lower level prospect. It’s a nice package of prospects for Liraino and the Yankees can live without them for this season. I’m not a big fan of the road 4.25/1.39 ERA/WHIP but his numbers vs LH batters is top notch and he’s only 27 years old. Sure, he’s an injury risk but you can say to yourself, “What pitcher isn’t?” I probably don’t include Banuelos or Montero in any deal for Liriano but, knowing the Yankees and their need for a SP, I wouldn’t be surprised if they included both! Not the most patient franchise that ever existed.

    • AndrewYF

      Not going to happen. To get Liriano you’re going to have to give up an elite prospect, and the only elite prospects the Yankees have are Montero, Sanchez and Banuelos. The Yankees aren’t trading Montero, the Twins wouldn’t even want Sanchez, so it’s got to be Manny.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Depends on the scouts. Many seem to like Betances more.

        • AndrewYF

          Most scouts agree that other scouts are dumb.

          • MannyGee

            well played

  • vinny-b

    not interested in Liriano. As it would take Montero, Banulos.

    if the Twins are interested in Brackman or Betances, then let them make the phone call to Cashman..

  • Mike

    I’d offer up something around Romine Nunez and Joba.

    • Marc

      And they will quickly hang up the phone.

  • S

    The twins really like pitch to contact arms, that’s essentially all they draft. I say use phelps Warren as the arms; Nunez and laird as the position players

  • MannyGee

    Sorry, but you have to swallow hard and give up something big to get something big.

    Banuelos, Nunez, Laird, and ‘something’… maybe a Phelps or Noesi or a AA guy or something.

    They need help in the infield, Nunez ‘could’ be an upgrade today. Laird ‘could’ play 3B for them next year if he starts @ AAA this season. Banuelos is the key, and the Yanks could trade back for him in 5 years when the Twins decide they cannot afford him too…

  • Dismortologist

    What would be the difference in WAR between Liriano and say Garcia and/or Nova? Would it be worth all those prospects for the difference???

    • Rick

      WAR ?? You’d have CC and Loriano at the top of your rotation.. Both Lefty Studs !! All the saber stuff goes out the window.

      • Dream of Electric Sheeps

        Like to see one more healthy and productive season before pronouncing L as a stud. But you don’t make trades or access player’s value solely on WAR.

        • MannyGee

          one more healthy season of Liriano raises his cost to “Banuelos AND Becantes, PLUS…”, not a ‘Banuelos OR Becantes, PLUS…’ situation you could be looking at today.

          It has not been that long since we saw the Johan drama unfold. do you remember what the Twins wanted for a guy who we ALL KNEW would have his arm fall off in 2 years??? Yah…

    • Total Dominication

      Could be between 4 and 6.

  • Dream of Electric Sheeps

    The price likely to be steep. I think Liriano is a 2 and possibly 1 if he can regain his high octane velo. Is it worthy a Montero or a Ban without having Lee type of assurance of playoff certainty, I don’t think so. I think the Yanks might need two more pieces in the starting rotation to be WS caliber team. When it comes down to I rather have two youngster with extreme upsides and control for the next 6 yrs than Liriano. But Ninja might be able to pry him loose with less, in that case, yes.

    • The Three Amigos

      You dont think the Yankees aren’t WS caliber now and you still don’t with CC Hughes Liriano AJ Nova/Garcia/Youngster…?

      • The Three Amigos

        Terrible english, but point remains.

  • anon

    Romine, Laird, Warren, Nunez.

    :completely serious stare:

    • Dream of Electric Sheeps

      Jesse Crain and a diet Pepsi

      :completely serious stare back:

  • Pasqua

    “According to Christensen, he also developed a reputation for faltering in tight spots.”

    I will always, in the end, defer to the numbers, but the fact that this was stated gives me pause. It’s a totally subjective opinion, of course, but having a reputation like that is one of those “uh-oh” things that sticks in the back of my head when it comes to a guy playing in NY.

    That said, it’s well worth any perceivable “risk” (at the right price).

  • Andrew Brothert

    I would trade Betances/Romine/Nunez/Warren/Laird for Liriano

  • Johnny O

    So the Yankees could trade for a 27 yr old stud (yes, 9.4 K/9, 0.4 HR/9 and 2.7BB/9 is a stud) LHP with 2 years of control left and nobody’s all that excited?! Especially considering the state of our rotation, and the state of our farm system (deep&thick)?!?! I’d consider giving up Montero only since our offense isnt’ the main problem and he’s quasi without a position. Some people were ok with giving up Montero for 3 months of Cliff Lee. All of a sudden 2 years of Liriano isn’t worth it??? I think we’re all reading a bit too much Frankie Piliere and overvaluing our prospects. The Yankees use the majority of their assets in the farm system for trades. Let’s stop acting like all of them are going to turn in to Robinson Cano or Phil Hughes.

    I understand not wanting to trade Montero or Manny, but I think at least one of them plus 1 top 10 prospect and 1 11-20 prospect should absolutely be on the table for Liriano.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m not THAT excited because of leverage and timing. Liriano’s stock is it’s highest in 5 years and the Yank rotation’s is the lowest in… Maybe the Twins are motivated to move Liriano, but I would assume it’s more of a see what’s out there and try to sell high opportunity. I think waiting would improve the Yankees leverage in dealing for Liriano and not hurt them too much in the short-term. I think they can compete for the playoffs with this rotation. Mid-season they can assess their needs for getting into the playoffs. Then in the playoffs is when adding a #2 starter like Liriano would really help. I am not as worried about the back-end as most people, I think the real problem is the lack of a #2. And I don’t think that keeps them out of the playoffs necessarily.

      • Johnny O

        I agree that they can make the playoffs with the team as is and Liriano’s value would mainly be in his affect on the team in October. But, if it will likely take a pretty good package to get him either in March, or June, then I say do it now. Then again, I’m clearly a fan so I’m not as concerned with the danger of him falling off dramatically the first few months of the season.

        • Ted Nelson

          The thing is that no one knows what will happen between now and March/June. So, his value could go up or down.

          Depends on a lot: Liriano’s performance, Twins spot in standings, Yankees spot in standings, Yankee prospect performance, Yankee rotation performance… A lot of variables…

          If you wait, worst case… he’s amazing to some extent, Yankees stink to some extent, and you give up more in prospects for a surer thing or wait until 2012 to acquire him (if Twins are contending maybe they don’t deal him…). I don’t mind the worst case because if they stink that much be might not help and you’re getting a surer thing closer to free agency. (Or another worst case is that he gets hurt/regresses, in which case you’re glad you didn’t trade for him.)

          More likely I think his value stays stable or declines even in health, because he’s getting closer to free agency and other starters will become available. If he’s doing well the Twins can’t really afford him and neither can a lot of other teams… So he becomes a rental to a lot of teams. He’s a long-term play for the Yankees, but they can give a slight premium over rental price to secure him without having to pay the full long-term price. And right now he’s the only good starter being mentioned as available. If a couple of good starters become available from teams that fall out of contention, Twins lose leverage. Plus, as we agree the Yanks can compete without Liriano.

          Really all comes down to what Minnesota wants for him, though. Montero or Banuelos and I wait. A lot of Yankees’ prospects are coming off big years, though, and their value might be at an all-time high right now. A fair comparison to the Santana deal, I think, would be 2 of Betances, Brackman, or Sanchez, plus a Warren/Stoneburner/Romine, plus a Nunez/Heathcott/whoever they like… something like that. And maybe Liriano’s value is higher or lower than Santana’s (obviously Santana was better, but he was also about to get PAID). If that’s the deal I’m sort of on the fence. Even if Liriano loses value, the Yankees farm system is unlikely to have another 2010.

    • MannyGee

      I think you’re too excited… considering you have said “stud”, “Thick” and “deep” in your post…

      but no, for real? If he becomes REALLY available, you have to make a move. you stockpile prospects to make a move like this.

    • mike

      last time they traded for a stud like this was Javy, Ver 1.0

  • J-Nic

    Betances/Laird/Nunez could get it done. If not just add Romine and drop Laird.

    • The Three Amigos

      I would even go Betances, Romine, Nunez and Laird. Call it a day. That stings a bit, but we are trading from strength with pitching and catching. Plus two fringy guys who could play on the twins but not necessarily the Yanks.

  • Yea I said it !

    Considering what they got for Santana, I think Laird , Nunez + Phelps will get it done, throw in Joba (with his 15 pound extra he gained this off-season).

    • Fair Weather Freddy

      I agree. Considering that Liriano has a history of injuries and is an injury risk, I would do all I could to keep Banuelos and Betances out of the deal.

    • Ted Nelson

      They got BA’s #35 and #52 prospects that offseason, along with the 2007 #73 who was a “major league ready” starter, and also a 2nd rounder who had flown through the minors and made AAA at 22 in his 2nd pro season.

      That they all flopped was as much luck as anything (though it is interesting that 3 of the 4 were “tools guys” or “projectable” and had never had the performance to back up their buzz.)

  • Ted Nelson

    “These aren’t the same Twins that traded Johan Santana for four spare parts.”

    That’s rather revisionist. Those players turned into spare parts, but were not at the time.

    Deolis Guerra was BA’s #35 prospect, Carlos Gomez was BA’s #52 prospect, Humber had been the #73 prospect a year earlier and was “major league ready,” and Kevin Mulvey was a 2nd round pick who reached AAA in 2 seasons.

    Wasn’t an amazing package for an ace, but he was coming up on a 9 figure payday so the market was limited. It’s not like Lee or Halladay got amazing returns either.

    I would compare it to Guerra = Betances, Gomez = Sanchez, Humber = Romine, and Mulvey = Adam Warren… Roughly in terms of today’s Yankees prospects. Betances is topping out in the 40s of most rankings I’m seeing, Sanchez was in the 60s of Law’s and is way further away than Gomez was, I say Romine because he’s a guy whose fallen out of the top 100, and Warren reached AA at 22.

  • Chas

    Betances, Adams, Nunez, and Laird. 3 Near ready infielders and a potential front line starter. Get it Done!

  • theyankeewarrior

    Take your pick of any three:

    Andrew Brackman
    Hector Noesi
    Austin Romine
    Adam Warren
    David Adams
    Ivan Nova
    David Phelps
    Graham Stoneburner
    JR Murphy
    Jose Ramirez
    Brett Marshall
    Eduardo Nunez
    Brandon Laird

    Enough??

    • Tank the Frank

      The only thing I thought of reading this is, “Damn our farm is deep!”

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t know that it is enough for the Twins, though I don’t know if I give up too much more if I’m the Yankees.

      I don’t know if the Twins are motivated to trade Liriano so much as they might feel they’re still the best team in the AL Central without him, he’s their best combo of trade value/expandability, his value is its highest in 5 years, if he stays healthy they can’t/won’t re-sign him anyway so now is the time to get value before he becomes a 1 year rental, and he could bring back a haul that helps them bigtime in the future.

      Basically, I think they’re feeling out the market to see if/when it makes sense to deal Liriano. Perhaps they go for a quantity package with maybe 4 or 5 of the guys you list above (maybe Betances + 3 of the above), but they might be dangling him to see if they can hook a top 5 prospect like Montero or a top 5 pitching prospect like Banuelos…

      If I’m the Yankees, though, I don’t deal Montero or Banuelos for him at this point. Maybe a package headlined by Betances, depending. I think their leverage will only go up as Liriano nears free agency, other starters become available, and people realize the Yankees rotation is not as awful as they think.

      I know people think the Twins dealt Santana for junk, but they got a highly-though-of prospects who just didn’t work out. #35 and #52 on BA’s list in 2008 (when the deal happened), #73 in 2007 (he was also #50 in 2006), and a 2nd rounder who sky rocketed to AAA in his 2nd pro season.

      • Ted Nelson

        ” he’s their best combo of trade value/expandability”

        *expendability

      • David

        All great points. I would add that I would be extremely skeptical about this if the Twins seemed to have some eagerness to trade him. His injury history is scary, and the Twins are a very sharp organization. It could be parallel to the Vikings “stealing” Randy Moss for a third round draft pick. They could also have looked at it like “Belichick is as smart as anybody. The only reason Moss is on the block is because Belichick knows he can’t play anymore”. I think Moss lasted maybe two or three games and then was released. I see a “too good to be true” similarity here.

  • Mike

    When has a team ever given us a deal on a top flight player. I expect them to ask for a king’s ransom. Then probably deal him off to another team for less.

  • Yanks

    Here is one: Michael Young has to be traded away from Texas. Yanks can get him for some middle prospect then trade him to twins for Liriano. Where the twins pick up Liriano’s salary for 2011 and Yanks pick up Young’s 2011 salary (the rest of the 48 million Twins pay over the length of his contracts).

  • Greg

    If I were Cashman, I would tread carefully yet be aggressive at the same time (hard to do, but possible) They wont want Montero because they have Mauer locked up and Thome in the DH role.

    Go for an infielder and one of the B’s.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Old man Thome in the DH role wouldn’t stop the Twins from wanting Montero.

    • MannyGee

      yeah that and Montero can go to 1st as well, they are not THAT tied to Morneau on the bag. Lets say if, HUGE IF, they got Morneau in the deal, they could start him in AAA in the spring, maybe call him up to DH/1B in June and have Morneau slide to DH in 2012 and have Montero play on the bag…

      just saying, you make room for a guy with Montero’s bat. That is what we have been sold ALL WINTER.

  • vinnie

    I think you guys need to go in another direction in your trades. I dont want to give manny or dellin, or Montero.

    They dont want slade because their outfield is full of young talent.

    They dont want any of the 4 catchers, and thats fine I want to keep them. They are there for just in case issues.

    They dont want laird because they have valencia.

    They dont want Joba because they have nathan and capps and honestly Joba is hitting arbitration and is no longer a cheap commodity.

    They need middle infield because all they have is Casilla and Miguel Sano who ive read is projected for first.

    they want to win this year so they need a major league ready pitcher

    How about Brackman, Nova, Nunez, Adams

    Cano blocks adams, I think Cito is the future SS, we kind of window shopped nova last year.

    Bottom line this trade wont happen. My offer is about 80 percent of what they want

  • Preston

    The Twins would want both immediate impact players and high upside guys to make this deal. Nunez or Adams combined with Nova or Phelps for the immediate needs and then Betences or Banuelos along with a young position player maybe Mesa or Heathcott for the future. Even then I’m not sure that would be enough. They’ll want compensation for two cheap productive years of Liriano plus the value of compensation picks they would get if they just offered him arbitration as a type A.

  • Russ

    Just speculating here, but Joba being in better shape and having a big time spring could be huge towards a potential Liriano trade.

    The Twins have two obvious holes they need to fill. One is in the bullpen with Nathan an injury question mark and their having lost Guerrier, Crain & Rousch to free agency. The second is in the infield. Casilla at short is not very good, Valencia came out of nowhere and is no sure thing to play as well as he did in the 2nd half last year. As those who saw Kaz Matsui will attest to, the Japanese infielder is a total crap shoot.

    So, the Yankees match up very well with the Twins for a Liriano deal. A package of Nunez, Laird, Joba and someone like Phelps or Mitchell (or if they insist Noesi, Warren or Nova) could get a deal done.

    Joba could step right in, as insurance if Nathan gets hurt and Capps has to close. Nunez would compete with Casilla for the SS job or even with Nishioka if he’s not as advertised. Laird provides an option if Valencia is a flash in the pan (I’m kind of shocked the Yankees haven’t traded Laird this off season when his value is possibly at it’s peak) and the Twins always love getting good young pitching prospects.

    My main concern is that the Twins would be unreasonable and look to break the bank on a Liriano deal to make up for the beating they took in the Santana trade.

    Montero is not a factor in this deal, partly because of Mauer and partly because the Yankees seem committed to making him a central piece of their future. The only way I see the Twins asking for him is if they think Morneau is going to still have issues with post concussion syndrome and they view Montero as a possible 1B option (or DH with Thome at 1B). At this point, unless Felix, Wainwright, Josh Johnson or one of the Dodgers kids (Kershaw and maybe Billingsly) become available I just don’t see anyone out there who the Yanks would part with Montero for. Of course, if Martin returns to form and can hold down the fort for 2 years AND Gary Sanchez rockets through the system, then maybe that opens up more Montero options but that’s a long shot. I just don’t see them moving him for Liriano, Danks, Haren, Buehrle, Dempster or a Carpenter type with all the other prospects they have at their disposal.

    If the Braves fall out of it early, could Tim Hudson become available? Does anyone know how long is left on his deal and for how much?