Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported last night that the Twins may consider trading Francisco Liriano.
Liriano, who turned 27 in October, has started 89 games in the Majors. He burst on the scene in 2006 before requiring Tommy John surgery and missing the 2007 season. He returned to the Majors in ’08, making 14 starts. In ’09 he struggled trying to recapture his stuff. He finished that year 5-13, with a 5.80 era, allowing 147 hits, with 122 k’s over 136.2 ip.
In 2010 Liriano looked like his old self. He started 31 games, and pitched 191.2 ip. He racked up 201 k’s, with 184 hits allowed. He held hitters to a .670 OPS against. For the year he finished 14-10, with a 3.62 era.
Last night when this story broke, I had a long Twitter exchange with Daniel Moroz from Camden Crazies. http://camdencrazies.com/
My contention was that I’d love to have Liriano in Orange and Black. I’d be willing to trade one of Tillman or Britton, Avery, +2 other Minor Leaguers of the Twins’ choice. The thought is that they would not have interest in Pie. Moroz believes the cost could be as much as Arrieta, Tillman or Britton, Avery, +.
I don’t see that. I don’t see how a guy with Liriano’s arm history, signed through ’12 would cost two players with the talent of Arrieta & Tillman or Britton. The O’s can not give up the years of control of two of those three guys for Liriano. They can give up one I think.
Moroz and I both imagined the Yankees would get involved if Liriano is actually available. I suggested the Yankees could offer a package centered around their Catching prospect Montero. Moroz correctly stated that a position player has more value than a pitcher, and pointed out that Montero is typically ranked ahead of Britton on prospect rankings. I countered by stating there is little difference between 5 where Montero typically ranks, and 10 where Britton usually ranks. While I appreciate an everyday player, I think you also have to account for the scarcity of pitching. As such, I would think Britton’s value compares favorably with Montero – especially if Montero winds up being a DH. Of course Moroz made another valid point that Montero could probably be serviceable at 1st.
Moroz’s last issue was that he did not believe it would be worthwhile for the O’s to give up multiple assets (including my proposed package of Tillman or Britton, Avery, +2 ML’s) for Liriano now. The idea being that giving up multiple assets when you do not know if you will be in position to contend in 2012 is foolish.
My thought is that you know he would bring you one step closer to contention, that you can give up one of the two pitchers for 2 years of control, and that Avery is likely an afterthought with the O’s in the next 2-3 years.
This afternoon FanGraphs has weighed in with a discussion asking what is Liriano worth?
FanGraphs‘ Dave Cameron thinks the Yankees would balk at an asking price of Montero, and suggests Liriano’s worth should equate to what the Blue Jays received from Milwaukee for Marcum. If that is accurate, you could argue that either Tillman or Britton on their own would be too much as the centerpiece for Liriano, and that the O’s would certainly not have to deal Arrieta, and one of the two other pitchers.
I’m not sure I see a package from the O’s that would work from the Twins perspective, but I do think determining the cost would be worthwhile for Baltimore.