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Rumors continue to swirl around Twins ace Francisco Liriano and the Yankees

Mar 1, 2011, 11:21 AM EDT

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Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune got the Francisco Liriano rumor mill rolling two weeks ago by reporting that the Twins aren’t interested in signing the 27-year-old left-hander to a long-term contract extension and are open to the possibility of trading him before he becomes a free agent following the 2012 season.

I speculated that the Twins were undervaluing Liriano by focusing on his win-loss record and ERA rather than taking a deeper look at his exceptional secondary numbers. He’s the “ace” they want.

Shortly after that Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson publicly criticized Liriano’s lack of offseason conditioning and manager Ron Gardenhire chose Carl Pavano, not Liriano, as the Opening Day starter, throwing a little more gas on the Liriano fire.

Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony downplayed the situation last week, but stopped well short of putting it completely to rest by saying, among other things: “We’re not talking to anybody right now on Francisco Liriano.” Right now, of course, being the phrasing of note.

Well, now the reports linking Liriano to the Yankees are starting to roll in. Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who has broken Twins news several times in the past, wrote that the Yankees “are keeping a close eye” on Liriano “while the Twins are keeping tabs on Yankees prospects” and then yesterday Nightengale said on Jim Bowden’s radio show that “it’s possible” Liriano is traded to the Yankees for a package headlined by Joba Chamberlain or Ivan Nova before the season begins.

Building off that, Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reported yesterday that “the Yankees called the Twins this offseason about the availability of Liriano” but “as of right now Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said there are no talks with the Twins.”

Twins fans understandably aren’t happy about talk of trading Liriano, particularly now that the Yankees are rumored to be interested, but it seems awfully hard to believe that all this speculation–from Christensen’s initial report and the Twins’ general attitude toward Liriano to Antony’s non-denial denial and Nightengale’s follow-up–is somehow being invented out of whole cloth. As a Twins fan I hope I’m wrong.

  1. phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    they had better not give up Nova for Lirano. im going to assume thats not even close to true. Joba and Romaine Done and Done. noone else.

    • trevorb06 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      I like how you Yankee guys think that real life MLB trades can be done just like in your video game. It gets to be a whole different story though when you Yankee guys think up trade scenarios so ridiculous that you couldn’t even pull this off in your video game.

      • bigharold - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        If Liriano is such a great get why are the Twins even thinking about trading him? Why hasn’t this rumor died from neglect or been put out of it’s misery by the Twins FO?

        Frankly, I think he’s a good pitcher but I don’t think trading Nova as part of any package or any of the Yankees other young pitchers makes sense. If the Yankees are looking to build a starting rotation adding Liriano is fine but trading the best young starter, that is likely going to be in the rotation anyway, is counterproductive because it still leaves you one decent starter short.

        “… Twins were undervaluing Liriano by focusing on his win-loss record and ERA rather than taking a deeper look at his exceptional secondary numbers. He’s the “ace” they want.”

        If he’s “the ace they want” why is this still being discussed? Why are the Twins reluctant to lock him in for a few years? As a Yankee fan, I’d like these questions addressed before the Yankees part with anything for him. Since they know him best what do the Twins know that makes him expendable? Because, nobody trades away a young inexpensive “ace”.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        Frankly, I think he’s a good pitcher but I don’t think trading Nova as part of any package or any of the Yankees other young pitchers makes sense. If the Yankees are looking to build a starting rotation adding Liriano is fine but trading the best young starter, that is likely going to be in the rotation anyway, is counterproductive because it still leaves you one decent starter short.

        Wait, what? It’s not counterproductive at all because you are greatly increasing your rotation by eliminating a weaker pitcher for a much stronger one (assuming Liriano is healthy, which could be a big if).

        If the Yanks pull off a trade centered around Nova and Joba, with a lesser prospect as a number 3 (which has been suggested, I don’t think it’s viable, but for arguments sake), the rotation immediately goes from Sabathia, Hughes, AJ, Nova and #5 fill in to Sabathia, Liriano, Hughes, AJ and #5. A 27 year old pitcher, another year removed from TJ surgery, a 9.4K/9 and absurdly low 0.42HR/FB ratio with the 3.62/2.66/3.06 era/fip/xfip would be a huge boost to the Yanks.

      • bigharold - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        “If the Yanks pull off a trade centered around Nova and Joba, …would be a huge boost to the Yanks.”

        That’s even more reason that the deal mkes no sense. If Liriano isn’t damagd goods than why trade him at all? And, on the Yankees part how does it help trading one of the best young pitchers in your sysem that is also the closest to being big league ready make you better?

        There has to be a reason that the Twins are even enteraining trading Liriano, assuming they in fact are, unless there is something wrong. It’s not the trade deadline, they aren’t out of it so why?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        And, on the Yankees part how does it help trading one of the best young pitchers in your sysem that is also the closest to being big league ready make you better?

        Because he’s not, and he’s no where close. I’d take the 3 B’s over him, and possibly Noesi and Mitchell as well. Adam Warren is rarely talked about to say nothing of guys like Stoneburner. Nova is who he is, a back of the rotation guy who hopefully can give innings. There’s no ceiling there.

      • bigharold - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        “Because he’s not, and he’s no where close. I’d take the 3 B’s over him,…”

        Really? Which one of the “Bs” will be in the big leagues at all this year let alone break camp with the Yankees at the start of the season?

        Trading away Nova and prospects for another starter, even a better one is not worth it. And, if Liriano is such a steal why are the Twins trading him? He’s a young inexpensive “ace” and yet the are still willing to trade him for a lesser picher that they will need to insert into the line up. Under no circumstances does that make sense. Is ths the same Twins FO that wanted Chamberlain and Hughes plus for one year Santana? What did they all the sudden get stupid? Or, do they know something?

      • kenbuddha - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:18 PM

        @bigharold: The Twins don’t need someone back to slot into the rotation… this year. They feel they have 6 starters so that makes one expendable and for some reason Liriano supposedly is it.

        And no, the Twins didn’t “all the sudden get stupid”. I contend they were stupid when they traded Santana for … well, in the end, nothing. Even at the time, the trade was very poor.

    • buddygrant - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      They better not give up Liriano for Nova+. I’m going to assume that is not even close to true.

      Fixed that for you, with bonus adult punctuation applied.

  2. docktorellis - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    As a Twins fan… I need a drink.

  3. phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    as twins fans you should come to accept that hes gone. if not right now then at the trade deadline. if not then then after the season. Lirano is not staying the Twins cause they made it clear that they dont want him.

    • bigharold - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      “… the Twins cause they made it clear that they dont want him.”

      Yeah but why? Are you not the least bit concerned?

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        well of course i am… but joba and romaine are never going to make an impact on the yanks so they can both go and if Lirano is a bust who cares.

      • bigharold - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        You might be right about Chamberlain but I think that Romaine might well be the future for the catcher position for the Yankees. Everybody talks about Montero but have you seen the size of that guy? No way he last as a catcher, 6’4″ 225 lbs 21 year olds, with that body type generally end up as 250 pounders before they’re 30.

        At any rate, I don’t think that Chamberlain & Romaine get it done unless there is really something wrong with Liriano. This could well be a case of being careful what one wises for…

      • Ari Collins - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        Uhh. Are you guys talking about Austin Romine? #knowingyourownprospectsfail

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        Ari – Hey its my Favorite Sox fan /Sarcstic.. just so that you know the Yanks have 9… NINE catching prospects right now and i think that 4 of them are in the top 10. so yea… Austin Romaine can go.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        Ari – actually they are talking about romaine lettuce.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:05 PM

        And it’s my favorite “sarcstic” Yankee fan! Who assumes I don’t know the Yankee prospects while still talking about lettuce!

      • uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        Ari, my friend. Just knowing that you have such a high opinion of me “warms the cockles of my heart”.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:15 PM

        UYF, despite the fact that I think you’re an incredible homer, you seem like an okay guy. And I like the lettuce joke.

        However, I was referring to PY, which you can tell from reading his post and then mine.

        You Yankee fans really need to learn to read. Sheesh.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        Ari – then you should have referenced him in your reply. Especially since your comment appeared almost 20 minutes after and immediately under my post.
        I appreciate the backhanded compliment.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        You’re welcome. Everyone deserves to be complisulted, and it’s sad how little attention we give each other.

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:34 PM

        LOL! just read the banter. Ari – Forgive the spelling and punctuation but i need to type fast so that when my boss comes over i look like im actually doing my job. all the red underline from Chrome drives me nuts but no time to fix it.

        anywhoo…. Romaine is expendable for sure. so are the killer B’s and yes even Nova. all im saying is that while i would like to have Liriano i dont think its a good idea before the season even starts to trade away what may be your 4th starter until you see that Lirano is in fact healthy enough to pitch. as someone else said… everyone is expendable for the right price. since the Sanatana deal ( Which i was against at the time and am happy to be proven right about) i am very weary when an “ace” is put on the block with no logical reason.

  4. trevorb06 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Wouldnt it be hilarious if the Phils pulled some more baseball-ninja stuff and traded for Liriano? You gotta think, he is affordable right now. I can see them doing this then finding a quick taker for Blanton. How awesome would 5 aces be? Craig would die! I’m a Twin’s fan and I’d oddly love to see this happen just because… well… 5 ACES!

    • bigharold - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      “Wouldnt it be hilarious if the Phils pulled some more baseball-ninja stuff and traded for Liriano?”

      NO, it wouldn’t!

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        damn you trevorb06! The jays need pitching, too!

  5. SmackSaw - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Another Twins ace…gone. Anybody but the Yankees.

  6. uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    I’m going to have to disagree with phukyouk. With all due respect. Nova is a nice piece, but if he’s the piece that makes the deal go through for Liriano the Yankees should do it in a heartbeat. I saw Nova several times last season with the Yankees and for 4 maybe 5 innings he was good after that he imploded. Will he improve this year to where he can go deeper into the game hopefully, but who knows. As the Nike ad used to say “Just Do It”. Besides replacing Nova after a trade like this isn’t that difficult. Come the trade deadline Brackman will probably be called up. He can certainly slot in as the #5 starter if they move Nova for Liriano. Remember Liriano is a lefty who doesn’t give up a lot of HR’s, in Yankee Stadium that would be a priceless combination. A starting rotation for the Yankees of: CC, Hughes, Liriano (if they get him), AJ Burnett and then finally Garcia and Brackman splitting time after the All Star game sounds pretty sweet to me. Then depending how Burnett does in 2011 he either stays around for the last 2 years of his contract or the Yankees eat part of his contract and trade him to a NL team (for a prospect or 2). Then for 2012 the Yankees could be looking at a rotation of: CC, Hughes, Liriano with 4 prospects (Brackman, Banuelos, Betances and Noesi) competing for the final 2 slots. Or one of them and say Romine could be used to sign another “quality/top notch pitcher” for the 2012 season. Obviously this is all speculation but may be just may be the pieces could fall into place.

    • yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      You’re right, podner. The farm does seem to have some depth. We need a little more pitching now, and Liriano would be fine (so would another Twins starter, but I won’t kick that dead horse).
      So, we’ll trade Nova if we HAVE to (ambivilant about that) and take it now.
      Who was that clown who pitched in the mid-innings of the Phillies gmae Sat.(started with W)-dump him in with the trade.
      As it stands now, you’re free to disagree anbd me proven wrong, I like Colon as #5-won’t be needed that much early on.

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        its not a hardon for Nova its the fact that Lirano is not what he used to be since getting injured. nor do i believe that he ever will be again. hes the furthest thing from an Ace on any team not named the Twins.. and even there hes second to Pavano. i think Nova is going to turn into a very very decent pitcher over the next season or two so why sacrifice that for a pitcher that you know will get injured again? it does not make sense to me.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        I assume you meant to reply to my comment below; even if not, last year he had these career results:

        IP: Highest
        K/9: 2nd best
        BB/9: 2nd best
        HR/9: Lowest
        ERA: 2nd best
        FIP: 2nd best
        xFIP: 2nd best
        WAR: Highest (due to large amount of IP over ’06 season)

        Btw, all of his numbers except ERA were better than Sabathia’s last year even WAR which is absurd considering Sabathia threw almost 40 more IP. So to say he’s not an Ace, and use the ridiculous Pavano starting opening day as an order of ability, is laughable.

    • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      you joking? you think giving up Nova for a Tommy John pitcher is a good idea? and dont count on brackman anytime soon. i mean his hammy is already injured. Joba can go. Romaine can go ( the twins need a catcher) but keep Nova. im telling you hes going to be a solid 3rd or 4th down the line. not to mention that the Yanks need Nova and Joba and whoever else for the King Felix trade.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        Even giving Nova the benefit of the doubt and saying he’s a #3, he still doesn’t have the ceiling nor ability that Liriano has. Why the hardon for Nova?

      • davidw7 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        So you wouldn’t give up Nova for a pitcher who’s had TJ Surgery? You do know they recover and still post solid numbers. Tommy John surgery doesn’t mean the pitcher is finished.

        The list of MLB players who’ve undergone the surgery is long, and many of them found continued success in the majors afterward. Among them: John Smoltz, Chris Carpenter, Josh Johnson, Mariano Rivera, A.J. Burnett, Ryan Dempster, Joakim Soria, Eric Gagne and Kerry Wood.

      • marinersnate - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM

        “not to mention that the Yanks need Nova and Joba and whoever else for the King Felix trade”

        Good luck with that.

    • pisano - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      uyf1950…as usual you’re on the money. From what I saw so far the Yankees have plenty of front line pitchers coming up. I really like Nova, but your point about a lefty especially against the Sox is really a valid point.Betances is going to be a horse for the Yankees, barring injuries this guy will be around for a long time. I haven’t seen Brackman,but he’s supposed to be the closest to being ready.My feeling is Joba is hopefully going to have a great spring, package him with a couple of high prospects and see who’s interested, but the Killer B’s should be untouchable.

  7. sknut - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Just kick me now and don’t stop kicking me. I don’t want to think of the Twins without Lirano. Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    Hank’s USED FAT TOAD lot is open for business and on the road.
    Why is the checkbook missing from Hal’s office? Oh, Randy borrowed it.

  9. aburns77 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    As a Yankees fan I’d love to have Liriano for Nova + or Joba + but I don’t have the foggiest idea why they’d sell so low to the Yankees of all people. Don’t get me wrong I like both of those guys, but their ceilings at this point are limited at best and hardly no where near what Liriano brings to the table while still only 27. If Cashman could pull this off this would be a heist and would instantly make make them a much, much, better team, but unless there’s something I don’t know about Liriano I don’t see how pitchers of Nova’s ilk will make the Twins better.

  10. kenbuddha - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Gardenhire and Twins staff, make note, don’t downplay your pitcher (even if you don’t think he is your best pitcher) when there’s a good possibility you’re trying to trade him. If you do, you tend to get less value in the trade. In fact, you should talk about how great he is and what a clubhouse presence he has and how he visits sick children and walks your dog and mows your lawn – all for free.

    What a bunch of idiots.

    And Joba becomes a free agent only one year after Liriano does so that’s not exactly appealing from a salary point of view is it? Save $3M this year but essentially you have to throw the same pitcher out on the mound 3/5 games (Blackburn/Slowey/Baker). I question whether these guys really want to win or just be competitive.

    • buddygrant - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      Regarding the logic of publically denigrating some of their players & prospects to lower their trade value (ala Garza/Bartlett a few years back) : I fear the Twins front office is simply full of rubes eagerly searching for their next opportunity to be trade sharked.

    • grover738 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      You yankee fans who think the twins would consider Liriano for Nova are dreaming. The twins could get two more years out of him for cheap, let him walk, and get two draft choices that would be higher ceiling guys than Nova.

      The twins learned (I hope) from the Santana trade. Either get a serious haul of players ready to contribute or keep the player and win now and take your chances with the draft picks.

      Nova. You guys crack me up. Either multiple guys with high ceilings or the trade does not happen. Why would it?

  11. jh0088 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Huge Yankee fan here and I think he winds up with the Cardinals. The Twins won’t trade him to the Yanks and the Cards desperately need another starter now. I’ve been on record that I don’t think the Yanks are going to be able to land a top of the rotation guy this year.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      The Cardinals have also said in no uncertain terms that they will fill Wainwrights spot from in house.

  12. mdx019 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    I definitely agree with your point, aburns.. I really like Nova but like you said his ceiling is limited as of now. He’s a filler in the back end of the rotation until the B’s are ready for the show. I wouldn’t mind seeing Joba go either even though he has shown improvement so far in spring with his re-worked delivery.

    I’d also like to point out that the Twins don’t need a catcher in the near future. Mauer then they have Wilson Ramos (23) in their system so I doubt they’re looking at Romine and Sanchez at this point but anything is possible since they’re high ranking prospects.

    It’s going to take at least 3 (plus cash) or 4 prospects to get this deal done for the Yankees. If I was Cashman, I would pull the trigger. Liriano had 31 starts, around 191 innings last year and showed no sign of adverse effects from his surgery. Yanks need another lefty in their rotatation, one who can put up good numbers and eat innings. A lot of people are worried about their rotation and rightfully so for the most part but you have to realize their offense will produce plenty of runs to make up for the lack of rotation depth. They’re one arm away from probably being the AL East favorite.

    • davidw7 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM

      Ramos is now on the Nats. Twins got Capps for him last year.

      • mdx019 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        Woops, forgot about that. Well then they might be looking at a Yanks catching prospect.

    • hgulkkcaj - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      Ramos is with the Nationals now – he was in the Capps trade last year. Either way, I don’t care what Liriano’s health concerns are, we absolutely cannot trade him – especially the Yankees. Now, if we’re 15 games back at the All-Star Break, that’s a different story. I still don’t believe there is any way a trade happens. All of these rumors started flying when Joe-C wrote about how it would make sense for them to consider a trade – not that they actually ARE considering a trade.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        All of these rumors started flying when Joe-C wrote about how it would make sense for them to consider a trade – not that they actually ARE considering a trade.

        This is the point most are missing. He’s got two years left, the Twins don’t seem interested in signing a long term deal, so it makes the most sense to explore a trade and get something back before he leaves. Then it’s a bunch of speculation.

  13. davidw7 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    I join the Twins fans in not liking this news one bit. He is finally back on a form similar to what he displayed before TJ Surgery. There have been issues in the past with Liriano and the front office (sending down and staying in minors to save service time etc.. ) but I was hoping things would have been all good now. What type of message does it send if we trade, IMO, our best pitcher to a team who we notoriously can’t defeat. There MUST be more to this.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Klaw has tweeted and commented multiple times that guys with heavy reliance on their slider, like Liriano has, are just knocking on the door to future elbow problems. As the incumbent team, maybe they know something the rest of MLB doesn’t? The problem is what if they are banking on a future injury (like the Yanks when Pettitte left for Hou), and it never occurs? Now you’ve sold low on your best pitcher and made your team far worse in the process, both in the short term and long.

  14. uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Yankee fans here is an excellent link on the very subject of a Nova for Liriano trade.
    http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/

  15. grover738 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    For you evil empire fans asking why the Twins would get rid of Liriano, two reasons: 1) He isn’t on the program. Stuff like not doing his offseason stretching drives the twins brass absolutely nuts. If you’re in the doghouse, you’re stuck in there. It’s one reason they traded Garza. 2) They don’t think they will be able to afford him on a long term contract, and think they are selling high right now. He was the 7th best starter in the league last year, is cheap for two more years, and had a better wins over replacement value than your ace last year.

    Would the twins trade him, with a chance to win it all this year? Only if they got a load in return – and Nova or Chamberlin is not a load.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      You apparently haven’t seen or read anything about Chamberlain. He most definitely is a load. That’s coming from a long time Yankee fan.

      • grover738 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:05 PM

        Liriano is healthy after a 2 year recovery from TJ surgery. Last year he threw 191 innings with an ERA of 3.68, with even better secondary numbers. Joba has had had two years of mediocrity. And yes, I’ve read a lot about Joba since he’s a yankee so it’s unavoidable.

        A healthy Liriano is flat out better than a healthy Joba, and it would take more than Joba to pry away Liriano from the twins. One team is desparate for a top line starter, one is not.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        grover – I was being sarcastic about Joba. I was referring to his weight and him being “in the best shape of his life”.

    • yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      A load and a TOAD all can be yours….If the price is right!

  16. spudchukar - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    I have weighed in on this issue before, but the current scenario makes no sense to me for the Twins. I could see Pena and one of the Killer B’s, but it is hard to reconcile moving a probable front line starter for a B+ pitching prospect, and a out of shape middle reliever.

    • spudchukar - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:06 PM

      I need to make a correction here, for a few days now I have been confusing Pena with Nunez. Embarrassing and intolerable.

  17. diehardtwinsfan - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    With the exception of aburns77, I’m not seeing a whole lot of intelligent Yankees fans here. There’s no way the Twins shoudl ever consider this trade, and if they are, then the front office should be fired immediately. We’d be better off taking 2 years and the likely 2 picks than trading for a malcontented reliever and a 23 year old who couldn’t even post a k/9 over 7 in his minor league career. The Twins farm is teaming with mediocre 5th starter type pitchers and adding another potential one for an ace is dumber than dumb. I could see a Joba or Nova+ for a guy like Slowey, but Liriano??? The Yankees should pay through the nose for him, and if they aren’t willing, then they should plan to go without him.

    If I were Smith, I’d porbably be asking for Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and Nunez, and I doubt I’d budge much. It’s the Yankees who need the starter badly… Trading Liriano would be the end of the Twins chances in 2011 and likely 2012 as well. I hope the Twins learned their lesson from the Santana trade.

    You don’t trade an ace for spare parts… you just don’t.

  18. lampdwellr - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    First of all: Baseball’s “Killer B’s” are an indeterminate, Fabulous Freebirds-like conglomeration of various Astros from about 1995 to 2008. The nickname is already taken.

    Second of all: the odds that both Betances and Banuelos are both good major league pitchers has to be below 10%. It’s dumb to saddle them with nicknames already.

    Third of all: Trades between the Twins and Yankees always get rumored and then don’t happen…for whatever reason those two offices just do not talk to each other right.

  19. uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I don’t understand those Yankee fans that are so overly concerned about Liriano’s past injury history. As has been pointed out he pitched very well in 2010 (innings pitched, strikeouts, etc..) he’s also young and a lefty. He’s inexpensive for the next 2 years (2011 and 2012). He’s owed $4.3MM in 2011 and will probably get $7MM+ in arbitration in 2012. That’s chump chance for the Yankees for a guy with his upside/potential.
    Believe me I like Nova as much as the next guy but there is no comparison between the two. Liriano wins hands down.
    Nova, he’s young. His total ML experience is 10 games, 42 total inning pitched. His resume in 2010 was basically respectable to good for 4 or 5 innings of work then imploded. He’s at least 2 may be 3 years away from even being a #3 starter on the Yankees. Heck he’s not even the highest rated Yankee pitching prospect. Most people that have rated the Yankees prospects rate all of the Killer B’s higher then Nova and Noesi just as good if not better. Nova is replaceable, good potentially very good lefthanders especially in Yankee Stadium are not.

  20. uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    You know when you read most in not all of the posts on this topic there seems to be a recurring theme.
    Most if not all of the Twins fans poster hear are up in arms that the Twins would even consider trading Liriano never mind for some combination that players that would include either Nova or Joba as the centerpiece of what they would receive in exchange.
    Then there are those Yankees fans here (probably a minority but still several) that are just as emphatic that there is no way the Yankees should even consider trading Nova for Liriano. From my personal observation I can’t understand why.
    Perhaps therein lies the value of the trade. It’s a trade that must happen because neither side is thrilled about their team doing it.

    • yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      ufy, I like that way of putting it. It aligns with my philosophy- checkbook and “prospects” now, questions later. Come to think of it, who HAS been traded away young by the Universe that we regret now?

  21. wonkypenguin - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    The Twins unloaded Santana for the equivalent of no one and his numbers have steadily declined since 2008. However, they also let Sidney Ponson start 7 games in 2008 in his place and ended up losing the division by 1 game. I am confident Santana might have pulled a couple more wins that year, but they saw him on the decline. The problem is they got nothing back.

    All in all, trading any player to the team who has owned you in the playoffs and whose farm system tends to be less productive than your own seems…totally stupid. But I live in this state of niceness where our equivalent of Jeter has promotional opportunities like Land O’ Lakes milk…so it’s not all about performance and they STILL produce a good team. So. Whatever, I guess.

  22. Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    The Twins are goofy if they trade this guy.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      I think the Twins have finally come to the realization that if you can’t beat them join them. The them I’m referring to is the Yankees.

  23. Ari Collins - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Twins have made some very poor trades of pitchers in the recent past (Santana and Garza), but here’s hoping they’ve learned their lesson this time.

    I’m also unsure I believe there’s anything much to these rumors. They mostly amount to, “The Twins aren’t currently discussing an extension, and they won’t say definitively that they’re never going to trade him. CLEARLY SOMETHING IS UP.” The only substantive one is the report that the teams are scouting each other.

    I wouldn’t get too up-in-arms until trade talks actually start. Pay attention to how concrete this language is: “it’s possible” that Liriano will be traded in the next couple weeks. There isn’t even a single writer saying a trade is likely yet. Just possible.

  24. Kevin S. - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    I think the asking price would be much, much higher, but it’s absolutely mindboggling to me that there are Yankee fans who wouldn’t trade Nova and spare change for a bona fide ace. I don’t know about you, but I like it when my team wins baseball games.

  25. uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Just to pick up on what Ari said. Fans shouldn’t make more out of this. On the other hand usually where there’s smoke there’s fire.
    These rumors about a trade kind of have the ring of when an owner or GM gives a “vote of confidence to a manager”. You can usually take it to the bank that the guy is gone shortly thereafter.

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