With six pitchers vying for five spots in the Twins starting rotation, one possible solution is trading Francisco Liriano. Speaking to team officials recently, I’ve been surprised how open they are to this possibility, but the logic makes sense.
Liriano, 27, can become a free agent after the 2012 season. Coming off a resurgent year, he might never have a higher trade value.
One thing is clear: The Twins don’t plan to sign him long term. Last weekend, they avoided arbitration with a one-year, $4.3 million deal. From what I’ve heard, their long-term talks went nowhere, with Liriano’s camp hinting it wanted a three-year, $39 million contract.
The Yankees have already checked into trading for Liriano once this offseason so this is a bit interesting. This wouldn’t be an easy thing to pull off though.
If the Yankees could somehow make a deal without sending Jesus Montero or one of the Killer B’s (Andrew Brackman, Manuel Banuelos, and Dellin Betances) to Minnesota it would be a no brainer. The problem is that at least one of those players would likely have to be involved, perhaps two.
Is that really worth it? Liriano has a decent injury history and is just two years away from free agency where the Yankees could potentially get him for just money. They’re likely going to have to pay him a lot even if they trade for him so it might just be better to wait it out.
Waiting it out would not only save them prospects, but it would answer a lot of questions about Liriano. He’s already had Tommy John surgery and other problems. His delivery is still questionable and he’s only really had one good season. By waiting a year or two, the Yankees might end up paying him a little bit more, but those questions would likely be answered.
It might even be better if the Yankees waited until the July trade deadline before making a move here. That way they would get a chance to see if some of their young pitchers are ready and would have more time to evaluate Liriano.
What do you think? Should the Yankees make a big push for him now? Or is waiting the right thing to do? If you are in favor of a trade, just how much would you feel comfortable giving up for Liriano?