MLB Trade Rumors: Will Francisco Liriano Be Moved by the Minnesota Twins?

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIMay 18, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 18:  Francisco Liriano #47 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 18, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Francisco Liriano and the Minnesota Twins have struggled so far this season. They and are in last place in the NL Central with a record of 13-27—the worst in the MLB.

While the Twins' big guns, including the struggling Justin Morneau and injured Joe Mauer, will likely be off limits, the Twins might look to trade anyone else on their roster, according to Jason Churchill of ESPN.

Liriano is the most intriguing name that could be dealt on the Twins.  He has had a career made of unrealistic expectations.  Although Liriano made his big league debut in 2005, he completed a full season for the first time last year. He won 14 games with a 3.62 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 191.6 innings.  

Although Liriano has struggled early this season with a 6.12 ERA, he has had a number of good starts.  The numbers are thrown by two starts in which he allowed seven runs.  He has pitched at least six innings and allowed two runs or less three times this season, including a no-hitter.

Even so, if the Twins traded him now, they would be selling low and might not get equal value, said Aaron Gleeman of MinnPost.

A number of teams will be in the market for starting pitchers at the trade deadline.  Liriano will be among the most valuable.  Not only is he talented and will help teams down the stretch this season,  he also is young, and his potential offers teams hope for the future as well.  Liriano's contract runs out after the 2012 season unless the Twins re-sign him.

The Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers are all still in contention despite having some of the highest team ERAs in baseball.  If Liriano hit the market, these teams would all take a look.