Minnesota Twins: Why the Francisco Liriano Trade Is Not a Big Deal

Collin Kottke@CollinKottkeCorrespondent IIIJuly 31, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 13: Francisco Liriano #47 of the Minnesota Twins receives a standing ovation after leaving the field following the top of the eighth inning against the Oakland Athletics on July 13, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Athletics defeated the Twins 6-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

We all expected it.

Twins fans expected that someday soon Francisco Liriano would be traded; we just didn’t know what team he would be shipped to.

Boy, did we get a surprise on Saturday when the Twins sent Liriano to its main foe and division rival, the Chicago White Sox.

Rumors had been flying around for weeks that Liriano would be dealt. Everybody from the Washington Nationals to the Toronto Blue Jays to the Texas Rangers were the rumored connections.

But now that GM Terry Ryan has sent Liriano to Chicago it seems everybody is in a complete uproar.

Many are speaking of how this trade could come back to bite the Twins. What if Liriano dominates the Twins from here on out? What if Liriano leads the White Sox to the playoffs or—even worse—the World Series? What if he becomes a Hall of Famer and a perennial Cy Young contender?

Okay, so the last one may be an exaggeration, but let’s all take a step back.

This was a good trade for the Twins. They received infielder Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Pedro Hernandez, but that doesn’t really matter.

The Twins got prospects that have major league experience—maybe not the best MLB experience, but some. The only way the Twins would have gotten anything in return for Liriano without trading him is through the drawn-out arbitration process in which the Twins either would re-sign him or get compensatory picks.

Now on to the fuss about trading Liriano to the White Sox and his potential domination of the Twins.

Who cares?

The direct effects of this trade are felt only for the remainder of this season. Liriano can dominate the Twins for the rest of the year, but what does it matter? The Twins' 2012 season is virtually dead. After 2012, Liriano could go anywhere and potentially torment every team.

If Liriano goes off the Twins could always re-sign him. I, personally, don’t want the Twins to re-sign the man no matter what—but they could if they wanted to. The Twins can start that analysis on Tuesday night and carry it into the offseason.

So long story short: the Twins turned Liriano into two experienced major league prospects. The direct effects are only for this year, and essentially this year doesn’t mean anything anymore for the Twins. If the Twins find the urge to re-sign Liriano, they can do so and in the process block him from re-signing with the White Sox or somebody else.

Twins fans, let’s give this trade a pass because it really doesn’t matter. A total non-factor.