Chicago White Sox Trade: Sox Acquire Pitcher Francisco Liriano from the Twins

James Kries@@JKriesContributor IJuly 28, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 23: Francisco Liriano #47 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning on July 23, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox pulled off a late trade Saturday night, acquiring left-handed starting pitcher Francisco Liriano from Minnesota and sending Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez to the Twins (via USA Today).

Liriano will help shore up a White Sox starting rotation that is still missing John Danks due to injury. The White Sox are currently on top of the AL Central division, 2.5 games up on the Detroit Tigers following  their fifth straight victory Saturday night.

The White Sox didn't give up much for the once-heralded Liriano who just last week got battered around by the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Liriano lasted less than three innings during the 7-4 loss, giving up seven runs and seven hits to the White Sox.

Liriano is just 3-10 this season with the last-place Twins, while possessing a 5.31 earned run average. Liriano, who has battled injuries throughout his seven major league seasons, is currently healthy and adds some needed depth to the White Sox rotation.

Although he pitched well in earning a victory Saturday night over the Texas Rangers, White Sox starter Philip Humber has a bloated ERA of 5.90 and has struggled this season.

All-Star pitcher Chris Sale has logged 124 innings in his first season as a starting pitcher and may need some rest before a potential postseason berth. Sale relied on mostly off-speed pitches Friday night during his win over the Rangers.

The White Sox gave up utility infielder Eduardo Escobar and pitching prospect Pedro Hernandez in exchange for Liriano.

Escobar has played in six minor league seasons, managing only a .315 on-base percentage. In 99 career plate appearances with the White Sox, Escobar had an OBP of .276. Known as a defensive specialist, Escobar made a throwing error during the White Sox's 5-2 win over the Ranges Saturday night.

The other White Sox player in the deal, Pedro Hernandez, has only made one major league start. The 23-year-old Hernandez has a 3.42 ERA in six minor league seasons.

While Liriano has struggled the last two seasons with the Twins, he did enjoy success on the mound as recently as 2010, when he won 14 games with an ERA of 3.62.

Liriano broke into the league with great fanfare his rookie season with the Twins, earning an All-Star nod while posting a sparkling 2.16 ERA in 28 appearances.

Saturday night's trade was the first between the division rival Twins and White Sox since 1986.

Liriano is a free agent at the end of this season.