B/R Exclusive: Twins GM Terry Ryan Discusses the Francisco Liriano Trade
At 10:20 pm on Saturday, the Minnesota Twins turned one of their most powerful, but also frequently malfunctioning, weapons over to the enemy:
The Chicago White Sox!
The following is an all-encompassing brief on General Manager Terry Ryan’s meeting with the media Saturday night. The meeting took place at roughly 11:00 p.m.
(Yes, I know that's a photo of Santana. Shh...)
All quotes were obtained first-hand.
The Players Involved
Francisco Liriano was traded for left-handed pitcher Pedro Hernandez and infielder Eduardo Escobar.
Hernandez has only one major league start. He got shelled, giving up 12 hits, eight runs and three homers to Boston.
“[It] didn’t go so well,” said Ryan.
Escobar will be optioned to Triple A, joining Hernandez in Rochester.
His career batting line is .213/.282/.277 in 104 at-bats, but plays well defensively. He was on the White Sox big-league roster when he was traded.
“[That] was a tough decision because he’s been in the big leagues,” continued Ryan, “but I think he needs regular at-bats and we’re going to send him to Rochester for the season.”
How Long Were the White Sox Considered a Viable Trade Partner?
“They’ve been interested,” said Ryan. “I’ll just say he’s been throwing pretty well against them until [his last outing against them].
“It never hurts when people observed [him] as much as they’ve seen him.”
Was there Talk of an Extension?
“I didn’t pursue”—there was a long pause as Ryan mulled over his words—“an extension.”
“I’ll just leave it at that.”
Where Does Escobar Fit into the Picture?
“He’s got tremendous energy,” said Ryan. “He’s strong enough.
“He can play shortstop, he can play second and he doesn’t really profile at third, but he can play there.”
Although he can play three infield positions, Escobar should be a starter, said Ryan, not a utility player.
Where Does Hernandez Fit into the Picture?
Ryan would not pigeonhole him by associating a rotation number next to his name.
“I’m not going to say that because I would have said that Scott Diamond is a ‘potential No.’ and it wouldn’t have been accurate,” he said.
“We’ll let him make his own way. He’s certainly a potential starting pitcher.”
The Deal Was Done the "Twins Way"
Minnesota could have pitched Liriano on Sunday. In fact, he remained in the Twins Cities until Monday when the White Sox come to town.
But Ryan decided that would violate the Twins Way that has brought this franchise much success and a faithful fanbase over the last few years.
“I didn’t think it was fair for him any longer because everyone was wondering and talking about it,” said Ryan. “I know he was concerned.”
“I certainly didn’t want him to get hurt,” he continued. “For him to pitch here tomorrow, I’m not even sure that would be fair.”
Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.
Follow him on Twitter @tchreier3.