MLB Trade Ideas: 5 Teams Who Will Target Francisco Liriano Before the Deadline
While Francisco Liriano had a good season in 2010 (14-10, 3.62 ERA) it is fair to say that he has only had one great year, way back in 2006 (12-3, 2.16).
Tommy John surgery in 2007 limited him severely for the following few seasons, but he is still regarded as a top starter in the American League.
Contract negotiations between Liriano and the Twins broke down before the season started and the lefty has struggled in the young season with a 7.40 earned run average.
It would be somewhat surprising if he were dealt, however. He is under contract through 2012, so the Twins could keep him for another year if they so wished. If they get an attractive package, though, Liriano could find himself in another uniform by August.
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This does make sense on a few levels.
The Cubs need pitching and have the money and market to sign Liriano to a long-term deal before he becomes a free agent after the 2012 season.
However, they did give up a lot of their prospects to acquire Matt Garza and might be unlikely to give away whatever young talent they have left.
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No team has a greater need for pitching than Arizona.
They had the third-worst team ERA last season and have the worst in the majors in 2011 at the moment.
The D-Backs do not have the strongest farm system in baseball, but they do have a few good pitching prospects, such as Jarrod Parker and Wade Miley.
Chicago White Sox
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Many thought the White Sox had put together a team worthy of challenging for the AL Central title this year.
However, an 8-14 record after the first four weeks is disappointing. The main cause for concern is pitching—only three teams in the American League have a worse ERA than Chicago.
Of course, Minnesota would be crazy to trade Liriano within the division, but the Sox know they are close to playoff contention and could make a very good offer. Also, consider that Liriano has had just one good season in the last four years and is off to a poor start this season.
There’s nothing to be lost by trading a declining pitcher.
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No Reds starter has an ERA below 4.00.
Even before the season, you would only say you had faith in two: Bronson Arroyo and Edinson Volquez.
The NL Central will likely be tough again this season and the Reds will sense they are in with a shot of another playoff run.
A bolstered pitching staff would help.
New York Yankees
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By far the most likely option.
It was widely reported that the Yankees had been in negotiations with the Twins regarding a trade in the offseason. With the Yanks’ depleted rotation, it is easy to understand their desire to acquire the southpaw.
It makes less sense from the Twins' perspective if they cannot get a good pitching prospect in return, such as Manny Banuelos.