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White Sox get left-hander Francisco Liriano from the Twins

Jul 28, 2012, 11:22 PM EDT

liriano twins getty Getty Images

As first noted by Mike Axisa of MLB Trade Rumors, the White Sox acquired lefty starter Francisco Liriano from the Twins on Saturday night for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-hander Pedro Hernandez.

Liriano drew trade interest from the Angels, Orioles, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mets and Braves in recent weeks, but it was the Pale Hose and GM Kenny Williams who were able to figure out a deal.

Liriano, a 28-year-old impending free agent, has registered a poor 5.31 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 22 appearances (17 starts) this season, but he’s fanned over a batter per inning and put together dominant stretches at times. The first-place White Sox will hope that he can get hot and stay hot through October.

Escobar, 23, was hitting just .207/.281/.276 in 36 games this season for Chicago and doesn’t carry much upside. Hernandez owns a 3.42 career ERA and 1.24 career WHIP in five-plus minor league seasons, but he doesn’t have great swing-and-miss stuff (7.6 career K/9) and projects as a mediocre MLB starter.

It sure seems like a low-risk deal for the White Sox. And one has to wonder whether the Twins could have done a little better in a return package had they waited for the July 31 trade deadline to draw a little closer.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Garbage. Straight-up garbage.

    Was this really the BEST possible return for Liriano?! I get that he’s erratic. I get that when he’s off, he’s absolutely awful, but the White Sox have one of (if not THE) worst farm systems in the game and the Twins couldn’t land a single player in their top ten?!

    Escobar has a solid glove, but can barely hit his own weight. He’s a late-inning defensive replacement at best. Hernandez has shiny numbers in the low minors, but he’s been mediocre at AAA and doesn’t look like another more than a back of the rotation filler or eventual bullpen fodder.

    Obviously none of us know the ins and outs of the trading game this time of year, but given all of the teams in need of pitching and all of the teams that were rumored to be “kicking the tires” on Liriano, is this really the best return the Twins could get?!

    They so should have traded him after his phenomenal 2010 when his value was through the roof and teams were rumored to be offering legit top-10 and top-5 prospects.

    **bashes head on wall**

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      He’s everything you described and a free agent who was definitely leaving in a few months, but ya the Twins got nothing out of this in the end.

      • mashoaf - Jul 29, 2012 at 2:11 AM

        The Mariners are even saying you traded for who?

      • wlschneider09 - Jul 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        “They so should have traded him after his phenomenal 2010 when his value was through the roof and teams were rumored to be offering legit top-10 and top-5 prospects.”

        This. In spades.

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    It will be interesting to see if Don Cooper can get Liriano on track and keep him there. I honestly believe the Twins are as much to blame as anyone with this guys struggles.

  3. JustMeMike - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    In my opinion – Nice deal for the Pale Hose. Maybe Liriano will get some more support when he’s in his game. In his last three starts He gott clobbered then before that, in two starts =, he made one mistake in each game, and despiote striking out 25 batters – he lost both games/ Maybe a change of scenery will refresh him. On the other hand – the Sox play in a launching pad don’t they?

    Let’s see – that leaves three questions:

    1. John Danks – DL
    2. Gavin Floyd
    3. Jake Peavy
    4. Chris Sale
    5. Francisco Liriano
    6. Philip Humber
    7. Jose Quintana

    So who moves to Bull Pen – looks like Quintana now, then Humber when Danks comes off the DL. ?

    Second question: Who replaces Escobar as backup Middle infielder.?

    Why does Minny love small li9ght hitting infielders?

  4. kirschmania - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Terry Ryan has a knack for finding hidden gems.

  5. sparty0n - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Sox made a much better trade than the Tigers did…. unfortunatley :(

  6. unfortunateminnesotasportsfan - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Terry Ryan needs to go back to being retired! This is a move bill smith would have made. I think gardy needs to be fired as well.. bring TK back! Lol not like that would ever happen. But someone that can get stuff done. Ugh, Minnesota sports are sooo frustrating!

  7. randygnyc - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    If Liriano could get more consistent he’d be an elite pitcher. He’s got great stuff and can really bring no hit stuff to the mound on any day. I’m not sure if his problems are mental, physical or attitude.

    I’m disappointed that the twins didn’t get more for him. The white sox picked up youklis and Liriano for nothing this month.

    • unfortunateminnesotasportsfan - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      No hit stuff on any day? Maybe back in 2006, before he shredded his elbow. He has never been the same. I’m glad to see him go, just not to the white sox. But, he’s their problem now.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:27 AM

        Or last year

      • unfortunateminnesotasportsfan - Jul 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        His no no last year was a fluke against a crappy white sox team that he issued 6 walks and barely had that no-no. It was his 1 and only CG in his career. So yeah

  8. Brandon - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    I understand the need to move him, though I will miss Frankie.

    What I don’t understand is why in the division? You can’t tell me this was the best offer they got?

    What a joke this ownership and upper management is…

    • meteor32 - Jul 29, 2012 at 2:04 AM

      I get the sentiment, but I don’t think trading in division means much for a rent a player with the Twins season already being lost. Having said that, I completely agree that the Twins front office decisions are completely baffling.

  9. johnbrownsbod - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Two things. Liriano is making $5.5 million so the Twins save salary from a guy they were going to lose so they save $2.1 million. Escobar is a good utility guy with energy so it is really a win for the twins. The Sox win because Danks is really toast for the year and needs to be shut down and they need to be giving Sale more rest as his fastball is down a couple of mph.

    • ezthinking - Jul 29, 2012 at 2:39 AM

      “Save salary” for the richest owners in baseball. I guess we know how the got there. Pretty good guess on how they got there.

      How’s the Kool-Aid taste in Minneapolis anyway?

    • Jeremiah Graves - Jul 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      “Escobar is a good utility guy with energy so it is really a win for the twins.”

      …energy?! What the heck is that?! Plenty of kids with ADHD have energy and they’re going to be just as useful to the Twins going forward. He’s a good glove, no-bat defensive guy. He can barely hit his own weight and I’d be shocked if he ever gets 250 at-bats with the big club. Picking up an energetic, late-inning defensive replacement is not a win. Not by a long shot.

      Hernandez has some tools, but he’s been out of his element above the low minors. They’re both organizational depth at best in this trade and waiver fodder at worst. This was a horrible trade for the Twins.

      Admittedly, I’m not entirely sure how the compensation picks work under the new CBA, but part of me thinks Liriano was more valuable walking with an arbitration offer than he was getting traded to the ChiSox.

  10. randygnyc - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    It doesn’t matter he was traded within the division. The white sox aren’t keeping the twins from the play offs this year. Liriano as a FA was gone next season anyway.

  11. jhorton83 - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I’ve loved the White Sox moves so far this year, but I don’t get this one. Liriano is a mess. He’s always going to be a mess. Outside of two good years, he’s been a mediocre-to-bad pitcher and that’s certainly been the case this year. Then again, it doesn’t seem like the prospects they gave up were worth much. Almost seems like the Twins just wanted him gone.

  12. spudatx - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    I think this trade says something about how sincere the Twins were about not wanting to keep Liriano around. His erratic on-field play, lack of concentration, and lack of commitment to staying in good physical shape were constant points of disappointment for the coaching staff. The days of FranKKKy are, sadly, long passed.

  13. zzalapski - Jul 29, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    The Twins need to sack everybody — the front office, the scouting department, the coaching staff, the manager — because their collective philosophy is no longer conducive to fielding a competitive major league product. Of course, the Pohlads won’t clean house, because they don’t take winning seriously. Why should they, when they already have their shiny new ballpark?

    As for this trade, it would not surprising if Liriano turns it around after Don Cooper clears his head of the “pitching to contact” nonsense.

    If there is one positive from the Twins’ cesspool of suck, it’s that they’ve stopped playing “Don’t Call Them Twinkies” on the radio, because that song is terrible.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Double post aside, I think you’re dead on. If Liriano goes to Toronto and miraculously finds his old abilities, continuing a trend for Minnesota pitchers improving as they leave the organization (ala Jason Marquis), we need to have a close look at our coaching staff/philosophy.

  14. zzalapski - Jul 29, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    The Twins need to sack everybody — the front office, the scouting department, the coaching staff, the manager — because their collective philosophy is no longer conducive to fielding a competitive major league product. Of course, the Pohlads won’t clean house, because they don’t take winning seriously. Why should they, when they already have their shiny new ballpark?

    As for this trade, it would not be surprising if Liriano turns it around after Don Cooper clears his head of the “pitching to contact” nonsense.

    If there is one positive from the Twins’ cesspool of suck, it’s that they’ve stopped playing “Don’t Call Them Twinkies” on the radio, because that song is terrible.

    • zzalapski - Jul 29, 2012 at 2:06 AM

      Sorry about the double post.

  15. randygnyc - Jul 29, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Although I spend a few months a year in Minneapolis, I’m not buying anything they’re selling, outside of Walleye and Muskie season, the occasional twins game and their genuine Minnesota nice. My in laws know the Pohlads and the Wolfensons who used to own the timberwolves. Sadly, the teams were are part of their business portfolio. Nothing more. Contrast this to having Steinbrenner’s grandaughter who lives a few floors below me in my condo in NYC. Sure they’re wealthy, but they are passionate about winning. The others were apathetic.

  16. cameltoews - Jul 29, 2012 at 4:30 AM

    Thanks for subtly pointing out you are loaded.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      I am sure that Randy was sober when he wrote that.

  17. xjokerz - Jul 29, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    I’m happy the sox got this scrub. Hopefully the tigers can gain ground when he pitches

  18. kirschmania - Jul 29, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    randy, you sound like a douche…

  19. randygnyc - Jul 29, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Proudly- as sober as one can be. I don’t drink, ever.

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