Let’s Clear Some Stuff Up

February 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment

Why on earth does the world get so up in arms when a professional baseball organization says it would listen to trade offers for any of its players? I am referring to the Twins brass saying they would listen to offers on Francisco Liriano, which in actuality happened more like this.

Media reporter: Heyyy Francisco Liriano is really good and has two arb years left, so hey Twins officials, what of it?

Bill Smith: We’d be open to trading anyone if the right deal came along.

ESPN: OMG YANKS TELL MOFUCKIN MONTERO TO PACK HIS BAGS WE’VE GOT OURSELVES A #2 STARTER!

Twins bloggers: OMG WHY R WE UNDERVALUING F-BOMB HERE R HIS STATS HE’S REALLY GOOD DUH STUPID BILL SMITH.

 

So it’s really like this:

 

Media reporter: News please?

Bill Smith: I don’t understand how the media works, so I will give an honest answer.

ESPN: OMG OMG ZOMG

Twins Bloggers: Ooh something to blog about.

Me: Ooh something to criticize other people for.

 

But many would refute my argument by saying, well then why haven’t we seen a long term extension offer?

My response: Because that doesn’t make any business sense, and if the Twins don’t like to make bad business decisions.

Look, he had really bad shoulder problems in the minors (And he’s already been backed off this spring with shoulder soreness). He had TJ surgery. He’s had bouts of dead arm. He pitched a career high in innings last year. Furthermore, he’s had ONE GOOD FULL SEASON. You do not give out multi year contracts to pitchers with a laundry list of serious injuries and only one good full season on their resume. That is STUPID.

If all goes well, he will improve on his ’10 numbers and win a few more games in ’11. And then cost more money if we were to lock him up.

But at this point he would have a lot more trade value.

And it wouldn’t be completely idiotic to talk long term with him, as something of a more established commodity. Especially with Kubel and Cuddyer potentially coming off the books.

You think Billy Beane regrets not giving Rich Harden an extension after his 2004 season that featured the then 22 year old pitching 189 innings with a 114 ERA+?

And really, if the Royals decided to be like, hey want Mike Moustakas and Mike Montgomery, you wouldn’t listen? My point is that, responsibly, that’s all we should glean from what Joe Christenson vaguely relayed.

It certainly doesn’t mean the Twins are giving up on Liriano. It’s juicy to use that as a hypothesis, as Aaron Gleeman does:

Christensen is one of the best beat reporters in the country and rarely engages in speculation or rumors, so there’s definitely plenty of fire behind the Liriano-related smoke. Tom Pelisserof ESPN1500.com later confirmed Christensen’s report, talking to “baseball sources” who said the Twins are indeed willing to trade Liriano. After reading those two reports my first reaction was that the Twins are severely undervaluing what they have in Liriano.

How do we know the Twins are undervaluing Liriano just because they would be willing to trade him? Are the Twins really naive enough to think that can adequately replace him? Or could all this speculation and the refusal of the Twins to talk long term, as well as Rick Anderson’s report that Liriano didn’t keep up with his offseason conditioning, point to an organizational ploy to keep Liriano motivated?

Just a thought. But I will say, when the season starts, Liriano will be the #2 starter (And should be the #1). If he isn’t, say hello to Desmond Jennings and Jake McGee, your outfielder of the future and bullpen ace, respectively.

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