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  1. Come to SEAttle!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Comment by BigG — February 25, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  2. Trading him makes no sense to me why go into “rebuild” mode now?

    Comment by adohaj — February 25, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  3. Trading Liriano doesn’t necessarily indicate a ‘rebuild’ mode. It’s just a ‘get better at baseball’ mode. If they offer up Morneau, Kubel, Young, Baker and Nathan, okay.

    Comment by 2ndHalf — February 25, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  4. Another minor concern along with injury is how much his home park supressed the HR this season. His HR/FB has been all over the map in his career. Just a thought, buyer beware. He is probably one of the highest risk/reward guys in the majors coming off an amazing season, home park be damned.

    Comment by tdotsports1 — February 25, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  5. He would be a welcome addition to Toronto’s rotation.

    Comment by Matt Defalco — February 25, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  6. long term, long term, long term….according to Santana and Hunter, that long term never comes….if you don’t want Liriano on your roster while Mauer and Morneau are in their primes, when do you want an ace on your roster? I’ll be really annoyed if Liriano is dealt this year.*

    *unless someone makes a ridiculous offer, of course. But it better be SUPER ridiculous.

    Comment by mike wants wins — February 25, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  7. trade him to the yanks for a boatload of prospects midseason. if aj is as terrible as he was last year and they arent getting a miraculous performance out of the rag tag group of 4th/5th starters, you can bet the yankees will be desperate, especially if the red sox are lighting it up like everyone expects them to. they can make a killing if liriano has a hot start (likely) and the yankees rotation falls apart (even more likely).

    Comment by phoenix2042 — February 25, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  8. They aren’t trading him.

    They interviewed the Assitant GM the other day and he said they have had ZERO discussions in doing so. Talk about all smoke and no fire…

    Comment by VodkaDave — February 25, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  9. “why some teams are already naming Opening Day starters is beyond me”

    They do it to set up their pitchers schedule for spring training. Each pitcher has a specific number of innings they want to get in and a certain number of days off before the season starts, so it’s helpful to plan it all out now and follow the schedule.

    Comment by Chuck — February 25, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  10. The “trading Liriano” thing was a rumor whipped up by the media.

    Twinkie Town did and interview with the Twins assistant GM which debunked the idea that they were looking to trade him:

    Comment by Maija — February 25, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  11. But why announce it? Why not just schedule them how you want and then make the announcement later?

    Comment by Bryz — February 25, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  12. I don’t see why anybody cares who the opening day starter is. It’s sort of like caring about batting order only over the course of a season it will matter even less.

    Comment by MikeS — February 25, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

  13. I dont know about that answer the assistant gm gave, sure didnt seem to really “debunk” anything to me. I mean, his answer started off with unsure laughter, and at the end he said they’re not taking any offers “for right now” or something like that.

    Comment by cuban bee — February 25, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  14. It makes no sense to deal Liriano now. But at mid-season if you’re in 3rd place or even a distant 2nd and behind in the wild card, I’d trade him. He’s made it clear he wants more money than a team like the Twins should be willing to gamble on someone with his injury history. His trade value will never be higher than it will be at the trade dead line this year.

    Comment by Preston — February 25, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  15. While the Twins may not realize just how good Liriano was last year, I can’t help but wonder if they are banking on him getting hurt again and trying to deal him before his value is significantly reduced.

    Comment by Tim E. — February 25, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  16. Another option would be to let him throw 120 pitches per start. This way he could show he is durable and have a true CY year if he pitches his 2010 FIP. If that happens, he would probably be worth what he was asking.

    BTW, there is some serious cognitive dissonance in saying that Liriano is a valid 2010 CY award winner, but not the best or even second best pitcher in the division.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — February 25, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

  17. Voting for individual awards is greatly swayed by team performance. Liriano was considered a legit 2010 Cy candidate because of the Twin’s success, not because he’s better than Verlander.

    And yes, I was thinking about Felix winning the Cy while playing for the Mariners while I typed the previous paragraph but I typed it anyway.

    Comment by CubsFan — February 25, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

  18. It is about respect, IMO.

    Comment by Wes — February 25, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  19. According to an interview with Twins Assistant GM Rob Antony, the Liriano rumor started off pure speculation on behalf of the author of the source. The Twins organization does control him through 2012 so there really isn’t any measurable pressure at this point. Also, they literally never discuss negotiations in public.

    Here’s a link to that article:

    Comment by Jesse — February 25, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  20. The same thing happened when Brad Radke was given the opening day nod after Johan Santana won the Cy Young. Pavano is the veteran, the leader of the pitching staff. It is indeed about respect, and Pavano’s earned it.

    Comment by Bill Blatzheim — February 25, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  21. I think the fact that Liriano started game 1 over Pavano indicates the Twins know who the better pitcher is. Liriano ticked off the Twins by not doing the exercises he was supposed to do and came to camp unprepared. The Twins have him for two more years at reasonable cost. They won’t trade him now.

    Comment by Ian — February 25, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  22. Liriano was better for a season, Verlander is that good every season. Consistency counts.

    Comment by Preston — February 25, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

  23. This is all a bunch of nonsense so the supposedly more intelligent baseball blog writers can get their undies in a bunch. I’ll expect a retraction when Liriano leads the team to a division title. Of course they aren’t trading him, but it’s fun speculation to point and laugh, saying “the Twins are stupid for even thinking of trading him.”

    Comment by zerg — February 25, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  24. Agreed.

    His stock will never be as high as it is right now.

    He’s due for significant regression … and possibly injury.

    Slider-relaint pitchers are like that. Dominant-injured-dominant-injured.

    Some of the more dominant (big spending teams) have some of the weakest rotations they’ve had in years.

    It might just be too good of a situation to pass up.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 26, 2011 @ 5:17 am

  25. What if the 120 pitches per start show that he’s NOT durable?

    That would seem much more likely to me than the other.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 26, 2011 @ 5:18 am

  26. It could also be a way of protecting Liriano from himself. He tends to get overexcited against the best pitchers in the league and Pavano has demonstrated that poise most days (e.g. Jun 20/26 vs Halladay and Santana, combined 18 IP, 1 ER).

    I remember hearing someone a while back say that one year he was given the Opening Day start not because he was the best pitcher, but because he was the elder statesman of the rotation and had the poise to handle facing the aces and give the team a fighting chance, which would allow the team to match up the other pitchers against potentially inferior opposing pitchers.

    Obviously this is a moot point after May 1 at the latest, but it can get Liriano off to a better start which builds his confidence, whereas it will not matter as much for Pavano.

    Consider, would you take Lirano vs Sabathia or Liriano vs Burnett, Liriano vs Price or Liriano vs Shields?

    Comment by knucka11 — February 26, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  27. What could a team with no other legit #1 starters get back that would make them a better team this year?

    Comment by Josh — February 26, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  28. Personally, I think the Twins should trade for Liriano. They need a number one starter, and he’s under team control for two more years. With Mauer and Morneau in their primes, I’d have to think that Minnesota at least will wonder what the asking price is.

    Comment by nolan — February 26, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  29. Everyone said after they traded Santana that they’d be in rebuilding mode as well, and that team got to a tiebreaker game. They can still contend with or without him. Everyone thinks Chicago and Detroit are great or something. They’re not.

    Comment by Eric — February 26, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  30. Completely agree … bunched undies. The Twins’ front office never negotiates through the media. Joe Christensen at the Strib — a good reporter — basically decided to turn a non-denial into a thing.

    The Twins’ trade karma seems to have leveled off recently after they punked the Giants by unloading Pierzynski to get Liriano in the first place (along with Nathan, and Boof). But that said, and at serious risk of constricting my nether-regions, I would like to see them dangle Slowey and Perkins — and all their whining — plus a prospect for a Jaime Garcia or a Jeff Niemann. There’s enough pressure from Triple-A on the rotation to take some risks.

    Comment by Will — February 26, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  31. And Santana was out the door anyway, so getting four good prospects was worth it. No one could have predicted Carlos Gomez’s crippling fear of getting on base or Phil Humber’s love of the waiver wire.

    I agree with you that Detroit isn’t much — who’s protecting Cabrera? — but I disagree about Chicago. They have a good combination of starting depth and big bats. The Twins will likely need Liriano to buckle Dunn’s knees a few times with the slider.

    Comment by Will — February 26, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  32. I am sorry about promoting my league in these comments, but I am needing more dedicated owners who would like to join a good keeper league. The league is an ESPN Keeper league with an auction draft that I have tried to make as similar to being a real GM as possible, while playing fantasy. In this league you will take on the name of a real mlb team (ex. Oakland Athletics) We have a base roster of 25 men with 15 extra roster spots for prospects only. Currently the league uses regular 5×5 scoring, but it can be changed.
    If you want to know more about this league then you can get an invitation and check out the details, if you don’t like it then just simply leave.

    The teams already taken are
    Toronto Blue Jays

    If this sort of thing sound interesting to you than please send me an email at asking for an invitation

    Comment by Jays All The Way — February 26, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  33. Selling high.

    Comment by superhans — February 26, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  34. Go away.

    Comment by Not David — February 26, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  35. not in single season awards.

    Comment by phoenix2042 — February 26, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  36. If you were truly sorry you wouldn’t do it. There are plenty of other places that are appropriate for this sort of thing. Go there.

    Comment by joser — February 26, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  37. Liriano had yet to top 140major league innings until last year, where his innings jumped up by ~58.

    While I think the 30inning jump (Verducci effect) is a bit conservative and unproven, you have to wonder whether Liriano’s jump in innings will catch up to him in either performance or injury. If he gets off to a slow start his value will drop rapidly as people will wonder about whether he can handle the workload. If he gets off to a great start is his value going to get that much better than it is now?

    While trading him will be a tough sell to the fanbase, it’s probably easier to do it before the season starts, then at midseason if they are in or near first place. It seems like the potential downside waiting to midseason or next offseason is much bigger than the upside – so if they are going to trade him, now would seem to be the time to do it.

    Comment by joe — February 26, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

  38. Yeah, what Josh said…would be trading a dollar for three quarters.

    Comment by Jason B — February 26, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  39. of course it counts, maybe (and probably) it shouldn’t, but to flat-out deny that it does is just stupid

    Comment by fredsbank — February 26, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  40. “It is indeed about respect, and Pavano‚Äôs earned it.”

    What exactly has Pavano done to “earn” this coveted respect that Liriano hasn’t, exactly? Been on the planet earth longer?

    Comment by Jason B — February 26, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  41. this is possible, but assuming 2010 is more an indicator of liriano’s true talent than not, unlikely; in 16 of 31 starts he threw 100+ pitches, only 3 of which saw him not advance past the 6th inning, and 9 saw him (yes, and the defense behind him, blah blah blah) not allow more than 1 earned run. and of those 16, only in 1 did he give up more than 3 runs. over those 16 starts he struck out 125 batters over ~120 innings.

    i’m not someone who really drinks the fangraphs-provided liriano coolaid, but especially looking at his starts for this post here i’m very intrigued for his performance this season, and i think he’d be a great fit on the yankees, especially given their need for a starter, their cash, and minnesota’s need for a DH (montero) following this season.

    Comment by fredsbank — February 26, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

  42. He throws a lot of sliders. More pitches just get him to Injuryville safter.

    Really, I am a “pitch em if ya got em” type of guy. Bringing pitchers along slowly really doesn’t seem to make a huge difference in terms of injury prevention. Conditioning, preparation, and just good ol genetics seem to be the most important.

    My thinking was that [1] showing that he’s ultra durable is not going to increase his trade value that much, given his outstanding 2010 … but [2] extending him and getting him injured, faster, is going to diminish his value greatly.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 26, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

  43. they’ve also had zero discussions about a long term deal; thus, the speculation.

    Comment by thorens — February 26, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  44. In the interview he also said if someone makes them a great offer, they’d have to think about it pretty seriously

    Comment by PiratesBreak500 — February 26, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

  45. if you think an assistant GM will reveal his poker hand in some interview with a blog, you’re a touch naive.

    Comment by hars — February 26, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

  46. Liriano posted a better FIP, sure. Verlander threw a fifth more innings than Liriano did, though. WAR reflects that IP difference. Even then, I think IP are underrated by pretty much everyone and every statistic.

    Comment by Eric Cioe — February 26, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  47. Don’t forget that Lirano threw almost 200 innings between the majors and minors in 2008.

    Comment by hamandcheese — February 26, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

  48. If you are a non-Saber team (like the Twins), then contrast him with Pavano in 2010. Pavano had a 0.1 higher ERA, but 40 more innings. Not sure which one has the better injury history at this point. And the Twins pay about $8 mil./year for Pavano. If Liriano wants much more than that as a Twins player, he needs one of those two stats to change pretty drastically in 2011 or 2012.

    I agree with CircleChange11 that he risks injury if he throws as many sliders as he does now at 120 pitches… but why does he need to do that? Decrease the sliders, increase the pitches… put it over the plate. the K rate will go down, but if he remains a GB pitcher and keeps the Twins infield behind him, he will be fine.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — February 26, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  49. Liriano pitched a ton of minor league innings a couple years ago when he fell off at the end of the year and was complaining about dead arm. They were talking about the Verducci effect at the start of 2010 too, but it didn’t hurt him.

    Comment by Mike — February 27, 2011 @ 12:38 am

  50. he only threw ~140innings in 2009… why would 2010 be impacted? Why would folks be talking about the Verducci effect the year after he threw 140innings?

    The high inning count in 2008 would impact 2009…. and if you look at his ’09 #’s they are not as good (though that could still be lingering TJ after effects?)

    Comment by joe — February 27, 2011 @ 1:12 am

  51. Spot on and hilarious. Thanks.

    Comment by Ari Collins — February 27, 2011 @ 8:14 am

  52. The Verducci Effect is about INCREASES in innings from year to year, not a high overall number of innings. The theory is that, at a young age, increasing innings by more than 30 from one year to the next is dangerous.

    Comment by Ari Collins — February 27, 2011 @ 8:15 am

  53. Trade him to the Rangers for Michael Young? Come on you know you want to…

    Comment by Jacob — February 27, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  54. In most cases teams schedule their starters so that they pitch every 5 days up to their first ML start. With all the off days, they are one or two pitchers who may pitch opening day using regular spring-training schedule, based on first-week rotation. It’s better to announce opening-day starter immediately, than to have whole month of questions “will player1 or player2 start opening day?”

    Comment by Davor — February 27, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  55. pavano tied for the league lead in both shutouts and CGs in 2010, what did liriano do?

    Comment by fredsbank — February 27, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  56. The Twins reported that Liriano didn’t do “all of” his off-season arm exercises this year…then felt a twinge a few days ago. Is your ace a guy who doesn’t take care of himself? Not on serious teams, and the Twins are serious. The trade idea makes sense in this context.

    Comment by Spartanzee4 — February 27, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  57. Cover his remainin salary, throw in Martin Perez and Profar, and we’ll talk.

    Comment by PAU — February 27, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  58. If the Twins are serious about trading Liriano and his 4.3 million salary, I suspect they think that twinge is a sign of something bad to come, which could impact performance sooner rather.than later.

    He was not very good his last 10 starts last year, having a 4.7 ERA. This may or may not be a sign of trouble in 2011, but coupled with the shoulder pain, any team trading for Liriano needs to do a through medical exam before giving up too much.

    Comment by pft — February 27, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  59. I find it funny that people continue to bring up the failed Johan Santana trade and neglect to mention the Pierzynski for Liriano, Nathan, and Bonser one.

    Maybe trading Liriano ends up closer to the Pierzynski deal than the Santana one.

    Comment by Teenwolf — February 28, 2011 @ 1:54 am

  60. Morneau may not play in 2011 and Gardenhire’s appears to want to play a AAAA guy at first base in that case. Having a first baseman that can’t bat is a huge hole in a team’s offense.

    What if the Twins are in contention at the deadline and the Cards decide they can’t close with Pujols? … just say’n.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — February 28, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  61. Instead of looking at this from the angle of whether Liriano is an injury risk or has reached his peak value, I see things a bit differently.

    If Kyle Gibson had made his MLB debut already and was showing himself to be a capable TOR starter(or at least a #3), then maybe it would be OK, but given the relative lack of other TOR options–I know, I know…Pavano–in the rotation, one has to question the merits of trading Liriano now when Mauer and Morneau are at or near their peaks(injuries aside). Baker is maybe a decent #2/#3 SP on a good day, and the concerns over Slowey, Blackburn, and Duensing have been vetted in previous comments.

    I am hoping to see Gibson debut this year and throw at least 80-100 innings at the big league level, and from there, expectations for 2012 and beyond can be adjusted. A Liriano trade with 1 year of team control next offseason wouldn’t net as great of a return package, clearly, but would still return something of value while also allowing for his likely replacement, Kyle Gibson, to adapt himself to MLB at a reasonable pace.

    (Perhaps the Twins will even be able to move Blackburn and the contract the Twins mistakenly gave him sometime next offseason. That might mean signing Pavano yet again to mentor the younger pitchers for 2012 and beyond, but Pavano, Gibson, Baker, Slowey and one of Duensing or one of the many other young promising pitchers currently in AA/AAA doesn’t look so bad in 2012.)

    Comment by Jim — February 28, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  62. Okay, but this is also the same pitcher that got his crap together, on his own, playing international ball … and his rediscovered slider dominance paid off great for the Twins. If a MIN coach was working with him over this time, directing his workouts and progress, then I retract that statement.

    I would not, AT ALL, be surprised to hear rumors of Liriano not doing what a professional pitcher should do (or so the teams say) as a way of buffering themselves from fan feedback if he is traded.

    I see the Twins as a different team than FG does. I think they are the 3rd best team in the division (and that’s a division that includes the Indians and Royals, so you’re basically 3rd by default).

    This is not the same type of “contention year” as 2009 and 2010.

    There would be no better opportunity to trade Liriano if that scenario is the one that presents itself:
    [1] his performance last year (he’ll regress in 2011, perhaps heavily),
    [2] his previous injury history and being a slider thrower (It’s not if, but when)
    [3] MIN is not the front-runner in the division.
    [4] I don’t recall so many top teams having holes in their starting rotation.

    If smart, this could be a “Mulder for Haren” type of trade situation. But, I’m not a Twins fan. If they keep him and in 2011 or 2012 his elbow falls off again, then that’s good for the White Sox.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 28, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  63. Are you offering Kyle Drabek?

    Twins are offering a CYA-caliber pitcher with 2 years of team control.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 28, 2011 @ 11:40 am

  64. Um, nope. Pierzynski was never in the same ballpark talent-wise as Liriano.

    Comment by Wayne Rizutto — February 28, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

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