Let's Make a Deal for Francisco Liriano
by, 07-10-2012 at 09:37 AM (1028 Views)
This was originally posted at our independent site (with a poll for voting), please feel free to comment with your own rationale for why one deal seems superior to another...GM's don't operate in a vacuum the more you debate the better the choice becomes.
It's time for the All-Star Game (a favorite event for we Peanuts, because it is just as silly as we always are, and because we feel proud to join the teeming masses who mock Joe Buck every year!)
But before the big(ish) game, we should think about what we do with our own all-stars given that we may be trading a few of them before the month is out. Last week we gave you a choice of what to do with first baseman, three-time all-star and former MVP Justin Morneau. After five heated days of voting we ended up with 2 votes asking to keep Justin and one vote a piece for each of the trade options. Since majority rules, we'll say that our fans voted to KEEP JUSTIN. A fine choice, but was it the best choice? Let's look at what the fans passed up!
- Behind Door #1, our first comprable Morneau trade would have gotten us a starter named Hunter Strickland (3 years after the trade in question he made it to AA...three weeks ago) and Short Stop Argenis Diaz, whose had one cup of coffee and is looking for another while playing for a different franchise. 1 vote
- Behind Door #2 there was outfielder Charles Poe (who never went past AA), and starter Andrew Lorraine who had minor success as a long man and spot starter. 1 vote
- But behind Door #3 that major league ready talent I talked about included the outfielder Steve Finley, starting pitcher (and one-time all star) Pete Harnisch...and Mr. Bloody Sock himself, Curt Schilling. 1 vote
I have to ask--if you're desperate for starting pitching, would Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling (plus Steve Finley) be enough to satisfy your hunger?
But rather than fixating on deals that were (or in this case weren't) done we can move on to the next trade to be. I had intended to continuing our firesale with erstwhile ace and permanent mustache inspiration: Carl Pavano; but all the TwinTweeters have been abuzz about the odds that Frankie Franchise is done in a Twins uniform. So, in an effort to capitalize off the popularity of this situation I hereby present: LET'S MAKE A DEAL FOR FRANCISCO LIRIANO
Alright, we all know the deal: Frankie's a talented if mercurial lefty, and while he might not be likely to resign with us next year (unless we offer to pay him in gum) he is probably our best pitcher right now. So, remembering that you can always keep him, let's sneak a peak at what is available behind Door #1, Door #2 and Door #3.*
Selecting Door #1 will offer you three talented prospects. First there's an outfielder (20) in Low A Ball who boasts a very promising slash line of: .245/.349/.502. Then there's a first baseman (20) in AA coming off a year in A ball where his OPS was a mighty .967 (.877 so far this year). And finally, because we know how much the Twins covet starting pitching there's a starting pitcher (23) who has been shuttling between AAA and the Majors and came into the year as one of the Top 15 prospects in all of baseball.
Meanwhile, in order to pry open Door #2 you'll have to be willing to give up a bit more than just Liriano (call it insurance against another Frankie being Frankie episode), if you're willing to give up Liriano and three more pitchers (let's say starters from A (21) and AA (19) plus a long-reliever (25) in AAA). But, if you give up that bounty you'll get back a bevy of talented AAA players including one outfielder (24) shuttling between AAA and the majors just waiting for a break through, and another whose slugging leaves a little to be desired but does get on base at a .386 clip. Since the Twins want so much pitching we'll also provide a AAA reliever (24) who has a 1.19 WHIP this year and a starter on the same AAA team who keeps the ball down (HR/9 under .5 for the last four years).
Finally, one organization, with little pitching to offer hopes to make up for it with plenty of offensive talent, starting with a first baseman (23) whose OPS in A ball this year is .812. another first baseman (23) in AA whose OPS is .973, and an outfielder (20) who has 35 stolen bases in his last two seasons of A ball.
*Note: I realize that these might look like underwhelming offers, but they're based on returns for pitchers like Liriano, not necessarily for pitchers available in a thin starter's market at a deadline with multiple buyers. All things being equal pitchers of Frankie's calibre tend to yield 2-3 prospects from a variety of positions.
So, while that might seem like a fuzzy pack of lollipops to choose from, there is one all-star in the making out there for you. Now, what will you do with Francisco Liriano: Keep him or trade him away for Door #1, Door #2 or Door #3?!?