Report(s): No deal for Liriano in the works


Despite the rumors, Buster Olney says the Yankees and Twins are not having talks about Francisco Liriano right now, and in fact Jon Heyman says the two sides haven’t talked in a month. The left-hander’s name popped up on the rumor circuit (again) last night, though Brian Cashman has maintained that nothing’s going on right now: “I have no talks going on with the Twins. Zero talks. There’s nothing going on. I would love to be able to talk to people, but there’s nothing of quality that’s available.”

Jack Curry wrote today that Terry Ryan, former Twins GM and currently a special adviser to now-GM Bill Smith, was at yesterday’s Yankees-Pirates game, but he was there covering the Pittsburgh squad. “We have people on [the Yankees],” Ryan said. “I’m not.” Cashman told Curry that he’s confident Minnesota will contact him if and when Liriano becomes available, but he’s not going to give up either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances. Great mustache Jay Jaffe explained why Joba Chamberlain for Liriano trade would be a win-win.

I have a feeling this Liriano stuff is going to drag on for a while, so get used to it. Yay.

Update by Ben (11:15 p.m.): Ken Rosenthal offers up a little bit more about the state of Liriano: The Yankees, he reports, allegedly “dangled” Ivan Nova and Ramiro Pena in an attempt to land Minnesota’s lefty earlier this winter. When you stop laughing over the lunacy of that trade proposal, read the rest of Rosenthal’s piece. He believes the Yanks could and should land Liriano for Banuelos and Nova.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. oh, trust me, i’m a nuggets fan, and that carmelo drama makes every other trade drama look like a kids’ tv show

    • Frigidevil says:

      Wasn’t any better as a Nets fan, what a ridiculous month. I think we all came out winners though!

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        Only if he resigns with the Nets

        • Frigidevil says:

          It’s insane how much the media is blowing this out of proportion. You do realize he isn’t allowed to sign an extension until July right? Plus, D-Will said there is a strong possibility that he re-signs, I’m not worried.

  2. Steve H says:

    Not surprising. Still don’t see any real reason for the Twins to move him, unless blown away by an insane haul.

    • Multiple Personalities says:

      Cashman should offer to send Jesus to Minnesota for Liriano, and then ship over a statue of Jesus Christ once the deal goes down

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “Still don’t see any real reason for the Twins to move him, unless blown away by an insane haul.”

      Well, yeah… They would trade him for what they’d be getting back. His value is its highest in 4 years and he’s a major injury/performance risk going forward. Plus he’s way better at Target Field than on the road. They don’t have to get an insane haul, if they can just get a good haul they’d sidestep a lot of risk and move Liriano before he either re-sucks or continues to do well and a gun is to their head with a huge extension looming.

      I don’t see any reason they *have* to move him, but I certainly see reasons for them to move him. If they weren’t at least exploring the possible returns it would be borderline malfeasance.

  3. stunna4885 says:

    i still believe there’s something in the works here. they are several reports out there there is something going on and now several reports there aren’t. the twins are not happy with liriano thats clear its all about the price thats asked

    • No, the initial report wasn’t a report at all. It was a tadio conversation between Jom Bowden and Bob Nightengale that was Tweeted on by Bowden to promote his Siruis XM show (That’s right, you didn’t know he had one, and now you do). Even the follow up piece that Nightengale wrote had nothing new in it whatsoever.

      There’s nothing to see here.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “the twins are not happy with liriano thats clear”

      Based on what? That they may be considering trading him.

      He’s been good 2 of the past 5 seasons and either injured or bad the other 3 seasons. Is there really any reason for them to be in love with the guy? On top of that his career ERA is 2 runs lower at home than on the road. There are plenty of question marks.

      If he gets injured/ineffective again… his value is shot both to them and as a trade asset. And if he continues to produce like 2010 his free agency and payday getting closer doesn’t help his value either.

  4. Bryan L says:

    Even if there are/were any negotiations, I’m happy Cash is standing pat on Banuelos and Betances. That’s nice to see.

    • Teh Comp Pick says:


    • Tank the Frank says:

      Yeah he’s alway stuck by his word before. Never take what Cash says to the media at face value until the results are in.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Agreed. Could be the honest truth or could be a negotiation tactic. Or could be that he won’t include either right now, but things could change as the season progresses.

    • Dirty Pena says:

      I love prospects as much as the next guy, but if adding one of those guys would make it a done deal, I think it’s utterly insane to not pull the trigger. Isn’t Manny Banuelos’ upside Francisco Liriano?

      • S says:

        Except Banuelos has been capable of staying healthy,and has until this point never been an injury problem or accused of being lazy.

        • Camilo Gerardo says:

          plus the 6 years of cheap control

          • The Scout says:

            Except Banuelos has never retired a big league hitter, and remains at this point a complete unknown. Whereas Liriano has rebounded from an arm injury to pitch very effectively. Both are left-handed, so that’s a wash. Liriano extends the window for winning for the current aging crop of regular, high-priced talent that makes up the Yankee roster. Banuelos cannot be expected to make a majro contribution for two years, so he doesn’t accomplish that.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Except that Liriano has been good 2 of the past 5 seasons. Except that his career ERA is 2 runs higher on the road than at home, and his 2010 ERA was a run higher on the road. Liriano can’t be expected to make a major contribution for the next two seasons either… It’s more likely than Banuelos, but still highly questionable.

              “Whereas Liriano has rebounded from an arm injury to pitch very effectively.”

              It took him 3 years to rebound and he’s pitched effectively one year. Was he recovering in 2009, or did he just stink? His health going forward has to be questioned/examined, and even if healthy there’s no guarantee he can be as effective outside of Target Field or every season even in Target Field.

              “Liriano extends the window for winning for the current aging crop of regular, high-priced talent that makes up the Yankee roster. Banuelos cannot be expected to make a majro contribution for two years, so he doesn’t accomplish that.”

              Disagree with that. A. Banuelos absolutely might contribute next season, and possibly even a bit later this season. B. Liriano is a wildcard. C. The Yankees window is always. They’re already good enough to make the playoffs in 2011. They can pitch up pitching improvements without sacrificing Banuelos later in the season. And what they really need is a core group of young players that can help make them as good in the next decade as they’ve been for the past decade and a half.

              I might trade Banuelos for Liriano. I probably wouldn’t do it now though, and I’d have to get a whole lot of questions answered satisfactorily. Liriano is such a huge risk that I’d really try to get it down without a top, top prospect like Montero or Banuelos, as Cashman apparently is doing.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        “if adding one of those guys would make it a done deal, I think it’s utterly insane to not pull the trigger.”

        Disagree. Liriano is a huge question mark.

        “Isn’t Manny Banuelos’ upside Francisco Liriano?”

        His upside may be a healthy Liriano… Which is also Liriano’s upside. Liriano’s downside is pretty large, though. I don’t know exactly how it compares to Banuelos’ downside, but I don’t think we can count on Liriano to repeat 2010 every season. Not after 2009 and not given his home/road ERA splits in both 2010 and his career.

  5. stunna4885 says:

    recent report is twins want nova or joba nth both + someone of the mlb roster. cashman doesn’t want to include the killer b’s and would prefer to surrender someone like nunez or laird and other prospects like phelps or warren.

  6. stunna4885 says:

    the twins may want one of the yankee outfielders if its a player off the current roster

    • Steve H says:

      Twins are pretty set in the OF now.

      • I dunno about that. Cuddyer/Kubel were both awful last year, and are both hacks defensively. They could use an OF.

        • Steve H says:

          What they need more than an OF is an ace pitcher though. Getting a MLB ready OF for 2011 still makes them a weaker team than keeping Liriano. Unless blown away, I don’t see any true motivation to move him.

          • If you read the BP piece Ben linked this morning, it sounds like they were (understandably) upset with how he handled his injury, thought he should have come back to being effective much sooner, and may feel he’s a prime candidate to be one injury away from being a shell of who he was last year. None of which is unreasonable, and could be a smart move to sell high on a guy like him.

            • Steve H says:

              That’s the only way I can see them really putting him on the block is if they have a strong (very strong) reason to believe he’s going to get hurt this year. The Sox were often unhappy with Pedro, but don’t think they ever wanted to trade him over it.

              • You’re thinking like a Yankee fan. Part of the Twins model is dealing off guys before they get too expensive. He only makes 4.3 this year, but they may feel the return will be greater trading him now instead of next year.

                It’s not unheard of. Lee was traded by the Indians with 2 years before he hit FA, as was Peavey and Grienke.

                • Steve H says:

                  Those teams didn’t have brand new stadiums, $100 million payrolls and World Series expectations.

                • Steve H says:

                  This isn’t a perfect comparison, but work with me. Let’s say, going into the 2010 season, CC told the Yankees he was opting out after 2011 and not coming back. You have a playoff caliber team, you have a 1 year old stadium and CC is your ace, but you know you only have him for 2 more years. In March of 2010, if you are the Yankees, how much do you demand in a trade for CC? You wouldn’t really consider it, and you wouldn’t actively shop him, but what kind of a return makes you essentially punt your 2010 (and maybe 2011) seasons to deal your best pitcher?

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    CC hasn’t been hurt/ineffective 3 of the past 5 seasons. I don’t know why you continually insist that Liriano is as good as he was in 2010. It’s not at all comparable. It’s more comparable to someone like Adrian Beltre coming off a career season that you’re not sure whether he can repeat.

                • Mister Delaware says:

                  You could also argue that part of Bill Smith’s plan is dealing off good starting pitchers for shitty returns.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    No… you really can’t. They got 2 top 50 prospects for Santana, another guy who was BA’s #73 a season before, and a guy who dominated his way to AAA in his second pro season.

                    This is one of the best run organizations in baseball.

                • Slugger27 says:

                  u cant compare liriano to those guys, its apples and oranges. the royals are not going to contend in the next 2 years. the indians knew they had no chance to contend in 09. peavy was making 16M a year… all 3 had a higher salary than liriano at the time they were traded

                  considering the twins specific situation (theyre the division favorites, can easily afford his salary, etc), a trade like this pretty much is unheard of.

                  lets assume bob nightengale never made any comments on this… would anybody even entertain this thought? would we take any seriously that suggested the yanks could trade nova and nunez for liriano?

                  in november, ppl probably wouldve been mocked on this blog if they had suggested we could trade for liriano

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    It’s apples and oranges because none of those guys was hurt/ineffective for 3 of the 5 seasons prior to being dealt.

                    “lets assume bob nightengale never made any comments on this… would anybody even entertain this thought?”

                    Yes. There were rumors the Yankees and Twins were discussing Liriano and that the Twins were open to dealing him a few weeks back. He didn’t make it up out of thin air. It’ll take more than Nova and Nunez, but stop acting like Liriano is not a HUGE risk.

                    “in november, ppl probably wouldve been mocked on this blog if they had suggested we could trade for liriano”

                    No. There have been rumors the Twins would trade him for the right price and that the Yankees spoke to them about him. Once that happened no one would be mocked.
                    Liriano is a HUGE risk. He’s been hurt/ineffective 3 of the past 5 seasons. His career ERA is 2 runs higher on the road. He’s had 1 6 WAR season… that doesn’t mean he’ll be 6 WAR every season. It means he was there once. Could do it again, could not.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Pedro never missed/stunk for a single season with the Red Sox let alone 3 of 5 years. I don’t know, but I doubt his ERA was 2 runs higher on the road than at home. I don’t see why you would compare Liriano to someone whose lowest WAR with the Red Sox was in line with Liriano’s highest with the Twins.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            “Getting a MLB ready OF for 2011 still makes them a weaker team than keeping Liriano.”

            **If** Liriano is healthy and effective. That’s a huge if. If he reverts to 2009 Liriano… I’ll take any of the Yankees 3 starting OF over him and maybe Andruw Jones too. If he gets hurt again, same. If he’s not pitching in Target Field, he’s not been as good in 2010 or on his career. Without strong knowledge of his medical history and chances of staying healthy going forward, I’m not comfortable labeling him as an ace.

  7. The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

    So the deal is nearly done then.

  8. stunna4885 says:

    i think ultimately liriano gets traded but when is the popular question. health will be the key fro the yanks side and off course who to part with in return.

  9. stunna4885 says:

    all i know is that cashman has has ample opportunities in the last year to make a deal and hasn’t. lee,haren.oswalt,greinke etc… its like the ultimate tease.

    • So has every other GM in baseball. But unfortunately, when it comes to trades and FAs, the other side has to say “Yes” before you have a deal. It’s not all up to Cashman.

  10. lirianoWIKIPEDIA says:

    According to wikipedia, liriano has already been traded to the yankees for: Ivan nova, Edwardo Nunez, and Adam Warren…


  11. Josh says:

    I’m pretty sure the Twins wouldn’t want Montero in a deal. Or Romine, Sanchez, etc. They’re pretty set at catcher with that Mauer fella’.

    That being said I’d give ‘em Chamberlain, Warren, Laird and a toss-in guy.

  12. mbonzo says:

    Nice to finally see some trade rumors. Nova seems like a good option for the Twins, though I don’t think he’d be a corners stone for a deal, they love Nova like pitchers.

  13. Reggie C. says:

    Brackman, Nova, and D. Adams …. (backs away slowly)

  14. Accent Shallow says:

    Anyone else not surprised? The Twins have a few motivations to move Liriano:

    a) they have no idea how to evaluate pitching (unlikely)
    b) they’re concerned about the new CBA, and want to get value for him now, as opposed to blowing it, a la Santana
    c) they think his elbow/shoulder is about to go

    Since I don’t think any of these are especially likely, I doubt he’s in (our kind) of pinstripes. And even if they were inclined to move him, why would only the Yankees be in on it.

    • mbonzo says:

      Here’s what I think.

      1) Liriano has his own arm injury risks. The risk was high enough to force the Giants to trade him to the Twins. The Twins may think he’s injury prone.

      2) They realize that the AL Central will be a lot more competitive this year. By testing the market now, they’re preparing themselves to trade Liriano come June or July if the Twins suck. This will also prevent them from overplaying their trade piece like they did with Johan.

      3) They don’t like strike out pitchers, they like fly ball and ground out guys. Great strike out guys are very consistent, but Liriano has been everything but consistent. While the Randy Johnsons are great to have on a team, the second tier strike out pitchers could have 6 WAR seasons and fall to 2 WAR the next year. This is largely a Twins outlook, but it makes sense for a team that thinks like that to get prospects after Liriano had arguably his best season.

      4) The Twins don’t like him. They’ve had problems in the past, and he has caused some trouble this spring with shoulder issues and some reported that they questioned his work ethics.

      Leaking rumors of trading Liriano should get them a sense of what the return for him is, if they would be selling high in the summer (unlike Johan), and scare him into working harder. Its a great strategy, but I don’t think we’ll see the Yankees trading for him until June at the earliest.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

        3) They don’t like strike out pitchers, they like fly ball and ground out guys. Great strike out guys are very consistent, but Liriano has been everything but consistent. While the Randy Johnsons are great to have on a team, the second tier strike out pitchers could have 6 WAR seasons and fall to 2 WAR the next year. This is largely a Twins outlook, but it makes sense for a team that thinks like that to get prospects after Liriano had arguably his best season.

        Uhh have they ever stated the sort? It may seem like that to us but I don’t think any team dislikes a strikeout pitcher…

        • Steve H says:

          Yeah, I keep hearing that and it sounds a lot like “The Yankees don’t care about defense because they keep signing strikeout pitchers” nonsense that Neyer said. It’s a stretch. Now is it possible the Twins pay less attention to K numbers when scouting? Sure. But just because the best pitcher they have strikes out a ton of guys, do they dislike that? Hell no.

          • mbonzo says:

            Twins just have a history of keeping contact pitchers. I’m assuming its because of they are typically more reliable in both performance in health. Theres no way this is the biggest issue since Liriano is still in his prime and only has 2 years left, but I think it plays in to why they don’t want to extend him. Not a major issue, but I think all 4 I listed have impacted the Twins.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I think they have a pretty clear motivation to explore moving Liriano:

      1. His value is its highest in 4 years. He’s coming off a 6 WAR season.
      2. He hasn’t been that good before 2010 since 2006. 2007 he missed with injury. 2008 he was rehabbing in the minors, and was good but not great in 14 MLB starts. 2009 he made 28 MLB starts 2 years removed from that injury and was no better than the Yankees’ back end starter competitors. Even if his health checks out, there’s no guarantee he’s a 6 WAR pitcher every season.
      3. His career ERA is 2 runs lower at home and his 2010 ERA was 1 run lower at home. He’s not a 6 WAR pitcher in a hitter’s park.
      4. If he’s available he is the market for starting pitching right now. If some team like the Yankees or Cardinals is desperate the Twins can capitalize.
      5. His value might not get much higher whether he performs well or poorly. Poorly/injured and clearly his value goes down. Well and his value may go up, but it may still be held down a bit as he nears free agency and a big payday.

      None of this means that they give him away for a bag of balls. It just means that I can totally understand why they’d dangle him to see what’s out there.

  15. The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

    Do you give ManBan and Nova up then for Liriano? That’s tough.

    • mbonzo says:

      Depends what the medical records say. Considering the Yankees offered only Nova and Pena, that tells me there are still some shoulder issues. In that case I’d offer Nova, Noesi, Adams, Romine. Basically anyone outside of Montero, Banuelos, Betances, and Sanchez. If his shoulder is fine, and he’s the injury risk we think he is, I have no problem with Banuelos and Nova.

    • Total Dominication says:

      Depends on what the medicals say. If he’s found to be in perfect health, yes. If not, then no.

    • Dirty Pena says:

      I feel like I’m the only person who would do this in a cocaine heartbeat. Liriano is a better pitcher than both, and he’s 27. He’s both a short term and long term answer.

      • Steve H says:

        I would hate, hate, hate to do it. But I would.

      • Total Dominication says:

        If he’s healthy, I’d do it as well. But with the Twins wanting to trade their ace, you got to check the medicals first.

      • Slugger27 says:

        no im with u… i cant imagine turning that trade down if the yanks are confident in lirianos health. thats a steal

      • Ted Nelson says:

        He was a better pitcher than both in 2010, but not in 2009. His career ERA is 2 runs lower at home and was a run lower at home in 2010. You can’t just assume he’s going to have a 2010 season every year or in another stadium. And is he better than Banuelos? Pretty hard to say.

        If you would do this trade without even looking into why Liriano was so bad in 2009 or what his medicals look like… I don’t know what to say. Good for you, I guess. Keep sniffing that yea.

  16. Jerome S. says:

    Patience, young Skywalker…
    There is another…

  17. Personally I wouldn’t give up Banuelos, and for that matter i wouldn’t give up Montero, Betances or Brackman either. However, when it comes down to it do any of us really think that Cashman wouldn’t pull the trigger on a including ManBan in a package for Liriano? He was willing to give up Montero for Lee. He gave up Jackson for Granderson. The Yankees recently have shown a willingness to trade away prospects for major league returns, and ultimately, as much as I, or any other fan here, don’t agree with it, Cashman will trade away premium prospects to acquire risky major league talent.

    • pat says:

      I think the org gave up on Ajax because it became apparent he might not grow into that 15-20 HR hitter as was projected when he was younger. Throw in the crazy amount of K’s and you have a bit of a flawed player.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Lee and Garnderson weren’t unhealthy/ineffective 3 of the 5 seasons before the Yankees traded for or tried to trade for them.

  18. Craig says:

    Would we or the twins consider Brackman/Joba/Nunez for liriano?

    • Pending medical records, I’d give that up for Liriano.

    • Steve H says:

      I’d do it. I don’t think the Twins would do it right now. Maybe at the deadline or next offseason, but getting 1 major league piece who is a reliever would be punting the 2011 season when they have World Series hopes.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I don’t know about that package in particular (whether they’d do it or not… I have no idea), but you seem to be completely ignoring how much of a risk Liriano is. There’s no guarantee he has another 2010. In 2009 he made 28 starts and was not good. His health has been questioned since the minors. Keeping Liriano does not guarantee the Twins a good pitcher in 2011. Whether his odds are greater than the combined odds of someone like Brackman coming up as a rookie with limited AAA experience and someone like Joba transitioning from the pen to the rotation… I’d say that’s debatable. If I’m the Twins I probably might just keep Liriano… but I could see going the other way too.

    • Slugger27 says:

      id do it if im the yankees… not sure the twins go for it, but its not a totally unreasonable offer

  19. pat says:

    Take anybody except Manny, Jesus, Dellin and the Sanchize. ANYBODY!

  20. Avi says:

    On a potetial Liriano deal:
    Thrilled: If the Yanks get him without giving up a B.
    Happy: If Brackman is the best player in the deal.
    Tough pill to swallow but would be ok: if they give up Banuelos or Betances
    Cashman you suck!: if they give up two B’s (any two)

  21. ultimate913 says:

    They should just start low-balling each other now.

  22. Kiersten says:

    The Twins are sick of getting swept by the Yankees in the ALDS so they figure if they trade their ace, they won’t even make the playoffs so they won’t have to worry about it. And since they’ve already thrown in the towel, might as well throw it all the way and just completely concede to the Yankees.

    This is the only explanation I can come up with.

  23. Mike says:

    I won’t believe these rumors until I hear the Twins shop our offer to another team. They’ll be stupid not to.

  24. mike c says:

    I’m in favor of holding onto the chips for now hoping seattle falls out of it and KF becomes available

  25. Avi says:

    Frankie Piliere tweet:
    If it’s true that the Twins want Banuelos in any deal for Liriano then there should be an immediate “no” from Cashman

    • mbonzo says:

      I would guess that the Twins ask for that and the Yankees will probably hold out for a better deal. A game of chicken would ensue and both teams will feel pressure based on the Yankees need for starting rotation help and the Twins fear of a Johan Santana Redux.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        “I would guess that the Twins ask for that and the Yankees will probably hold out for a better deal.”


        “both teams will feel pressure based on the Yankees need for starting rotation help and the Twins fear of a Johan Santana Redux.”


        A. The Yankees are probably still in contention with their current rotation and there will be starting pitchers not named Francisco Liriano made available as the season progresses.

        B. The Twins got a strong package for Santana and the prospects just didn’t work out. Guerra was the BA #35 prospect at the time, Gomez was #52, Humber was a year removed from being #73, and Mulvey made AAA in his second pro season dominating along the way. The modern day Yankees equivalent in terms of prospects might be something like Sanchez, Betances, Brackman, and Warren.

        They have gotten strong packages that worked out in the past for Pierzinski and Knoblauch.

  26. mbonzo says:

    Considering the package the Yankees originally offered, I wonder what the twins would say to Nova, Noesi, Adams.

  27. Tom Zig says:

    No to giving up Banuelos. If that means no Liriano, then oh well.

  28. Dr. O says:

    If Banuelos is moved in a deal it better be King Felix coming back in return. Liriano’s injury and rumored commitment to the game make me hesitant moving any of The Yankees’ blue chip pitchers. I’d definitely consider Brackman, because they’re relatively similar players in the “can he stay healthy?” department. Honestly I’d even be uncomfortable moving Joba too soon. I think if he can have a dominant spring he could end up getting The Yankees a bigger return than Liriano.

    Plus I hate the idea of caving to The Twins’ demands. This is the same franchise that essentially birthed the “a price for The Yankees and a price for everyone else” mantra with the Johan trades. I am not in favor of surrendering Manny B, Betances, Brackman or a possibly re-energized Joba to the same team that was demanding MLB ready prospects for Johan Santana and ended up accepting Phil Humber, Carlos Gonzales as those category and then Guerra as the “blue chip”. Liriano isn’t close to what Santana was at that time, so no to sending them a better deal for him now.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It’s not fair to say the Twins demanded a different price from the Yankees. The Yankees attractive prospects at the time just happened to be pitchers who were close to major league ready. Humber and Gomez were major league ready and highly touted… they just didn’t work out. Mulvey made it to AAA in 2 pro seasons and was knocking on the door. And Guerra was commonly perceived as being high upside at the time. In 2008 an equivalent Yankees package may have been something like AJax, Ian Kennedy two top 50 prospects, a high upside low minors guy like Jesus Montero, and a Marquez/Ohlendorf back end rotation prospect in the high minors.

      I do agree that the Yankees should not overpay for a risky pitcher like Liriano. However, I think that perceived slight is a fallacy.

  29. David says:

    Ben left out something else that Rosenthal said: “There is only one logical reason for the Twins to trade left-hander Francisco Liriano: fear that he might injure his arm”. It is appropriate for him to say that, if you take a look at Liriano’s career and the Twins in general as currently related to Liriano.

    That is why Cashman should not make huge offer for Liriano. A deal could certainly eventually come to more than Nova and Pena, but not to include Banuelos or Betances, not to mention Montero. It would be stupid to do that.

  30. Kevin says:

    I think the Yanks should hold on to all their top pitching prospects. Unless King Felix becomes available. The Yanks will be in contention for years to come if Hughes, Brackman, Banuelos, Betances and Nova fulfill their potential. It would be nice to have a young talented rotation for years to come. From what I’ve read Manny has really impressed in Yanks camp and I don’t even think he’s turned 20 yet. I’d have a hard time trading him for Liriano. Manny could turn out the be a better pitcher then Liriano in another 1-2 years. I know the Yanks are in win now mode but it would be nice to see these your pitchers develop along with Montero.

  31. J. Scott says:

    Don’t get the fascination with Liriano; don’t think he’s that good; career ERA+ of 109 [ Joba's is 119 ]. Significant injury in his past.
    Wouldn’t give up anything of value for him. You would pretty much be buying at the absolute top while selling (whether it be Joba or Banuelos) close to their bottom(s).

    Just don’t get it.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I agree that Liriano is generally overrated because he’s suck risk, but it’s very hard not to see the upside of him being the #2 starter the Yankees need and only 27.

      Since we don’t know what the package would be we can’t really say if the Yankees would be selling anyone at “their bottoms.” Joba does look like he’s at his bottom, though the Yankees are probably aware of that and would probably only include him if the Twins value his future prospects as high as or higher than the Yankees. Banuelos’ stock has never been higher than right now. It’s certainly possible it continues to rise, but it’s at least as likely it falls. He’s the #12 prospect in baseball on some lists and hasn’t pitched above AA yet.

  32. David says:

    The Harper article makes sense to me. If in fact the Yankees have some “eye-popping” pitching prospects, it makes sense that the Twins would dangle someone who they maybe for a variety of reasons don’t see their organization committing to long-term. They would see that the Yankees have a need, and therefore might overpay, such as by trading Banuelos. There could be a deal here that is somewhere in between Nova/Pena and a huge package featuring Banuelos. The Twins have lost much of their bullpen in the offseason. They don’t have much in the way of upcoming middle infielders. How about Nova/Chamberlain/Adams?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “There could be a deal here that is somewhere in between Nova/Pena and a huge package featuring Banuelos.”

      Agreed. The Twins have good reason to dangle a guy whose value *may* be at an all-time high, while the Yankees have good reason not to overpay for a guy whose value *may* be at an all-time high. So, for a deal to be made both sides would probably have to compromise.


      It’s tough to discuss specifics, but I think that’s still too low. I see that as very Yankee friendly. Like you offer yesterday they are offering only guys who have limited value to them. If their value is limited to the Yankees, why are they so valuable to the Twins? The Twins would have to take the best case view on all 3 of those guys and be really motivated to dump Liriano now. Nova and Adams are commonly left out of Yankee top 10 prospect lists, so there’s a good chance there are guys in the system they value more. The Yankees basically trade nothing and come back with a 2010 6 WAR pitcher.

      • David says:

        I think that is plenty for a guy with a questionable health history. Piliere, who I have great respect for, has Adams as an MLB regular. Joba is at least an established reliever. Nova held his own when called up into the American League East cauldron last year.

        It is easy to just quote and pick apart what others say. What do you think would be an appropriate offer for Liriano? A deal that both sides would go for?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Liriano’s value is hard to judge.

          You could take a negative view and say that splitting 2010 and 2009 you end up with about a 3.5 WAR pitcher. A Shawn Marcum type. One major league ready top 50-100 IF prospect is apparently Marcum’s trade value. If they really offered Nova/Pena (I suspect those were probably just among the names offered… like take your pick Nova/Joba/Noesi/etc. + Nunez/Adams/Pena for Liriano… but who knows) the Yankees might have been thinking along those lines. And certainly that’s where you’d want to start the bidding until you have to offer more.

          You could take a positive view, as many on the board seem to, and say 2007-2009 were all recovery years and 2006 + 2010 are his real value going forward. That he’s not any more injury prone than any other pitcher going forward (if you have the medicals to back that up) and 6 WAR should almost be seen as the floor for the 27 year old lefty. In this case it probably takes 3 of the Yankees top 5 prospects as a starting point. If you’re Bill Smith you were probably holding out a little hope the Yankees were desperate enough for ownership to overrule Cashman, ignore the risk, and do something like that.

          Reasonable people might hold both those views, but they’re both a little extreme. Really Liriano has much more upside than a Marcum. He also has the injury and performance concerns, though. A Greinke might be the high end of reasonable comparables. He’s more durable, but similarly talented and the SAD issue has to bring down his value. (Again, the high end… Liriano’s health brings him a bit lower unless you get glowing medicals… and even then his home/road splits and 2009 stinkitude hurt him to me.) Greinke was worth a 2010 BA top 15 prospect at a premium position (*the* premium position even… SS is more rare than 2B or CF, and maybe C as well) coming off a poor rookie season, a ML ready OF coming off a very good 2010 with a decent shot at being a regular, a young RHP who is the #69 prospect according to BA, and a fiest-or-famine high upside reliever who I believe is one strike away from being banned from the game. Not to say that’s what they’ll get for Liriano… but we’re talking about a Montero/Sanchez + 1 Killer B + top 10-ish position prospect (Slade/Nunez/Adams/Romine) + back-end/relief prospect (Nova/Noesi/Phelps/Warren/Stoneburner/etc.) in Yankee terms.

          I don’t see too much value in saying exactly what players the Twins like, because I have no idea. I think it’s going to take at least 1 of the top 5 Yankee prospects (Montero, Banuelos, Sanchez, Betances, and Brackman), a major league ready player or two (Nova, Joba, Nunez, or close in Noesi, Warren, Romine, maybe Adams), and/or a high upside low minors guys (Slade, Mason, Brett Marshall, Bryan Mitchell, Ramon Flores, etc.). Some combination of 3 or 4 of those guys depending on who the other ones are and what the Twins value. Maybe if the Yankees cave on whichever B the Twins prefer only 2 guys gets it done.

          Right now I don’t think any package will work. I think the Twins are looking for an ace package to give up their ace before the season starts. Maybe nothing ridiculous, but something good and close to what other aces have commanded (with some discount for Liriano’s health history). I think the Yankees know more guys will become available and won’t give up an ace package right now.
          As the season goes on things can change either to bring the two sides together or further apart. The standings, Liriano’s pitching/health, Yankees rotation performance, Yankee prospect performance, Minnesota’s immediate needs, the trade market for starters, etc. could bring the Twins price down or the Yankees offer up relative to one another.

          “Piliere, who I have great respect for, has Adams as an MLB regular. Joba is at least an established reliever. Nova held his own when called up into the American League East cauldron last year.”

          I just don’t see much of any upside there.
          -If you see Joba as a reliever, his upside is as a closer (1-2 WAR a season). As a starter maybe a different story, but that gets complicated since the Yankees have clearly said they don’t think he is… either way he’s not much further from free agency than Liriano.
          -Nova couldn’t last 5 innings last season, not sure he “held his own.” 2010 may have been a breakthrough year, but if it was just luck the guy had a MiLB ERA close to 4. He’s a back-end starting prospect or solid relief prospect. He might get beaten out for a rotation spot by Bartolo Colon. (1-2 WAR)
          -Piliere doesn’t have Adams in his top 100. He thinks he has a chance to be a major league regular, not that he *is* a major league regular. If he thought he was a very good prospect he’d have him in his top 100. (1-3 WAR)

          You’re relying on guys to hit their ceilings or close for that to be a good package. At their ceilings these guys *might* match Liriano’s 2010 WAR of 6. Not a lot of prospects hit their ceilings. A lot more fail than hit their ceilings.
          And, again, I think you’re taking a homer approach to looking at Yankee prospects as if they will all succeed. Few are likely to reach their ceilings. The uncertainty you point out in Liriano is at least as great with prospects who have little or no MLB experience… probably a lot greater with prospects. And if the Yankees point to Liriano’s injuries (as they should), the Twins are going to point to Cashman’s comments about Joba’s shoulder and stuff.

          • David says:

            We shall see. You think it will be a major package, I believe it would be for packages such as I refer to. I did check with a radio announcer from MN that I know very well that is extremely Twins connected, and he told me that the number one type of player that they want in return is a good Catching prospect to develop, because they want to move Mauer toward catching 100 – 120 games with some DH duty. We certainly have those, depending upon who they like.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Mauer is already catching 100-120 games… which would only make your case stronger. If you’re looking for a C from the Yankees system, though, is Romine the guy you choose?

              “We shall see. You think it will be a major package, I believe it would be for packages such as I refer to.”

              I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be a “major package.” A guy or two from the back-end of BA or Piliere’s top 100 is not a major package. Your packages have just been too light for the Twins to deal their ace, in my opinion. And too light for another team not to top them. If you’re going to deal 3 pieces that are not top 100 prospects, you don’t think another team steps up and offers 1 top 100 prospect? I’m not sure how you can objectively say that you expect the Twins to deal a 2010 6 WAR LHSP for no one in BA’s top 97 prospects. I don’t think you realize how unlikely prospects are to succeed.

              If Piliere is your guy, let’s put it this way… Marcum (3.5 WAR 2010, 0 WAR, 2 WAR 2008, 1.4 WAR 2007, 0.4 WAR 2006) was dealt for Piliere’s #45 prospect. One spot behind Dellin Betances. And you think Liriano (6 WAR, 1.1, 1.4, 0, 4.1) can’t get someone in his top 100? This is why I call you a homer. The guy you say is the authority on prospects doesn’t have any of the guys you’re offering in his top 100. Your authority had the Royals getting 2010′s #20 prospect for Greinke as part of a 4 prospect (3 MLB ready) package. Edwin Jackson was worth his #32 prospect in 2010.

              Why are the Twins giving Liriano away? Why aren’t they keeping him or trading him to someone besides the Yankees?

              • David says:

                I doubt that Twins are going to commit to Liriano longterm, which is why they wouldn’t mind trading him. I believe that his reputation in baseball is quite shaky, so major offers for him will not be there, from the Yankees or anyone else.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  He’s got two years left under contract at small $. They don’t have to decide whether they want to commit long-term or trade him. They can also keep him short-term and then re-evaluate their options trade deadline 2011, offseason 2012, trade deadline 2012, and again offseason 2013. At that point they can re-sign him or take the draft pick(s) if he’s reasonably effective the next two seasons and signs for more than they’re willing to pay.

                  Again, I am not talking about a major offer. Name me a decent starting pitcher who got traded for no top 100 prospect according to your boy Piliere… Even one with a “shaky reputation around baseball.” Edwin Jackson got a top 35 prospect, and neither his reputation nor performance is that great. Javy got a top 100 prospect. A half season rental of Cliff Lee got a top 35 guy the Mariners apparently preferred to a top 5 guy. Good luck trading borderline prospects for good starting pitchers.

  33. adeelmd says:

    These are the same twins who rejected hughes for santana?

    I fully expect them to trade Liriano for Ike Davis and Oliver Perez.

  34. tbinak says:

    You guys are acting like Liriano’s success in 2010 was some kind of fluke. The reason he was so much better in 2010 than 2009 was that he finally regained most of the velocity that he lost with TJ surgery. He went from averaging 90-91 on his fastball in 2009 to 93-94 last year (sometimes touching 96 or even 97). The bite on his slider also returned.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      How many pitchers have taken 3 years to recover from TJS? Josh Johnson was back in 11 months and an effective MLB pitcher. Tim Hudson was back in 13 months and matched his stats from the season before the injury.

      There is no guarantee Liriano is as good in 2011 as in 2010.

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