Reports are surfacing today that the New York Yankees reached out to the Minnesota Twins about acquiring pitching ace Fransisco Liriano.
The Yankees' core weakness going into the season is undoubtedly starting pitching. By adding Liriano, they would have effectively solved their biggest concern, and quickly become a World Series favorite.
Entering spring training, the Yankees' listed starting rotation includes CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. Not exactly a stellar rotation.
Liriano would have entered as the probable second or third starter behind Sabathia and Hughes, giving the Yankees a killer one-two-three combination during the regular season and postseason.
To provide some comparison, Liriano has a career record of 38-32 with a 3.92 ERA. He was a pedestrian 14-10 last year with a 3.62 ERA.
While those numbers weren't stellar, they blow both Nova and Mitre out of the water.
Nova has a 1-2 career record as a starter with a 4.50 ERA. Not exactly someone you would be thrilled to see starting on the rubber for your team.
Sure, Nova doesn't have many stats behind his name, but he sure looked better than Mitre. Mitre's career 13-29 record and 5.27 ERA certainly doesn't bode well for the Yankees' success in 2011.
The hitting will be there, as it always has been. Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez are going to score runs. Teams can't shut down this lineup.
But teams could outscore them. Going into a season with two great starters, an average one and two nobodies won't lead to a successful season. The addition of Liriano would have done a lot to bolster the Yankees' chances at a World Series.
Luckily for the rest of the league, the trade never materialized.
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