Francisco Liriano Trade: Analysis of Chicago White Sox's Stunning Acquisition

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IJuly 29, 2012

The Chicago White Sox barely had time to celebrate Eduardo Escobar's two-hit performance in a 5-1 win in Texas when the team announced that the rookie infielder would have a new address.

The White Sox announced that Escobar and Pedro Hernandez are now property of the Minnesota Twins.

Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times was among the first to deliver the news that Chicago sent the two youngsters to the Twins in exchange for Francisco Liriano. This is certainly a stunning move even for a GM like Kenny Williams.

Here are my early thoughts on this trade.

This has six-man rotation written all over it. Phil Humber seems a safe bet to remain in the rotation. After throwing well in his third start back from the DL, it would be hard to justify losing his spot after two solid outings since returning. After all, Liriano is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA.

That said, Liriano is likely a starter. With Chris Sale's workload coming into question, it wouldn't be a shock to see an extra starter employed for a while. If Don Cooper can help Liriano find his control, he could be an asset down the stretch.

Escobar had a pair of hits and an RBI in his last game with the White Sox. He was at short in place of Alexei Ramirez who, along with Alejandro De Aza, sat out Saturday's win. With only Orlando Hudson as an infield reserve, it looks like Ramirez will be back in the lineup Sunday afternoon.

This trade reinforces the notion that Williams is once again doing all he can to win now. With the White Sox leading the AL Central, he picked up Liriano and sent two more prospects out of town.

Escobar is a promising defensive shortstop or second baseman. However, with the White Sox looking at a keystone duo in Ramirez and Gordon Beckham for the foreseeable future, Williams is not trading a player who would start in the next several seasons.

Escobar leaving means that Williams is probably not through dealing. Expect a move to acquire a solid middle infield option for Chicago's bench.

We've seen this play out before. Williams has a chance to win this season and is going for it as usual. Don't be surprised if Williams is still on the phone right up to the deadline.