MLB Trade Rumors: Francisco Liriano Headed To The Yankees?

Would the Twins really think about trading Francisco Liriano to the Yankees? At least one talking head said he thinks could it happen in the next two weeks.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Twins May Be In Danger Of Underestimating Francisco Liriano

We don't know if the Twins are going to trade Francisco Liriano, and if they do, we don't know yet what they will be getting in return. But the fact that trade rumors have surfaced at all say something about where Liriano stands in the Twins organization. Charlie Saponara of ESPN says that means the Twins might be underestimating him, and that could be a dangerous thing to do.

The Twins may still have their reservations, apparently. They may see a pitcher who throws a lot of sliders -- the pitch that quite possibly induced his injury back in 2006 -- and is getting expensive while approaching free agency. Still, for a team that looks to contend once again in 2011, the Twins would have to be punch drunk to trade their ace -- and one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball right now -- for the likes of Ivan Nova or Joba Chamberlain. Even a package of Nova and Chamberlain would seem miles away from the type of value they should expect in return.

Saponara goes on to explain that Liriano's stats may be a little bit misleading. He doesn't have the triple crown statistics of a truly dominant pitcher, but looking at the stats that show his affect on the things he can control reveal Liriano to be one of the best pitchers in the game. Let's see if the Twins treat him that way.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Twins fans Not Happy About A Potential Francisco Liriano Trade

The Twins and the Yankees have reportedly engaged in some trade discussion revolving around Francisco Liriano. Twins fans are understandably not that thrilled about sending one of their ace pitchers to the Yankees, especially for the package that has been reported to be what the Yankees are offering. From our Twins blog Twinkie Town.

Pardon me while I guffaw.

I'm not saying that Liriano can't be traded, or that denials by public officials should be taken as gospel, but in Liriano you're looking at one of the most valuable starting pitchers in baseball. Ace talent under team control for two more seasons? The starting point had better be something better than Chamberlain or Nova...or Chamberlain AND Nova.

Liriano doesn't have the W-L record or ERA of a top of the rotation starter, but his secondary statistics reveal that he could be extremely successful with a stronger offense behind. But then again, that is true about every pitcher. At the same time, with their rotation in shambles, this could be an excellent opportunity to get a lot of value out of the Yankees. At this point, he might be more valuable to them than he is to the Twins. it's just important that they get all the value in return for him that they can.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Could An Injured Shoulder Keep Francisco Liriano From being Traded?

If you are listening to the various reports from around the interwebs (scientific name) then the Yankees are interested in trading for Francisco Liriano, and a trade could go down before the end of Spring Training. But the Yankees have reportedly shown a little bit of trepidation about acquiring Liriano because of a bum shoulder. But according to Kelly Thesier of MLB.com, Liriano does not think that the shoulder injury is a big deal.

"Shoulder's been sore for the last three or four days, so I've just been working in the training room," said Liriano, who had a bag of ice wrapped around his shoulder as he spoke to reporters. "Feels a little bit tight -- nothing big, it's just real tight."

He is saying all the right things, but "real tight" is not something you want to hear about a pitcher's shoulder, especially so early into training camp. Shoulder injuries are the worst thing for a pitcher. Even if the Twins decide not to trade Liriano to the Yankees, or anywhere else for that matter, shoulder injuries are the last thing you want to hear about him having. His shoulder injury will likely have to be resolved before any trade discussions can get serious.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Liriano To The Yankees Might Have More Traction Than We Thought

There is a possibility that all of these reports are just posturing on the parts of all these reporters, but where there is smoke, there usually is fire. And Francisco Liriano to the Yankees is starting to gather a lot more smoke. Frank Russo at Mike Silva's Baseball Digest is the latest to weigh in.

In speaking to my Tampa source, there are rumblings the Yankees are working towards a deal with Minnesota before the end of spring training. It would be either Nova, or Chamberlain, not both, and another player off the MLB roster. There is talk that Minnesota might ask for one of the Yankees outfielders. The Yankees would prefer to part ways with someone like Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Laird and/or include a player like a Adam Warren or David Phelps in a package. They do not, I repeat, do not want to include any of the Killer B’s if they don’t have to.

Russo reports that the trade has a two week timeline because the Yankees are still weary about Liriano's health. They will likely need to check out all of his medical records and conduct a very serious physical before they try to attempt to make a trade. I don't know if the trade is gong to go down or not, but we're starting to see a whole lot more smoke.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Fransisco Liriano Headed To The Yankees?

This definitely isn't a report, and it may not even qualify as a rumor, but there is at least one person who could see the Twins trading ace Francisco Liriano to the Yankees at some point in the next two weeks.

That's Jim Bowden, a former baseball executive who now works for XM radio and fox. He isn't really quoting any sources, it is just his speculation. But he does have more insider access than either you or I, so he may still be worth listening to.

Could the Twins move Francisco Liriano, for what appears to just be the sake of moving him? The two prospects he says could be coming back to the Twins don't sound like the kinds of prospects that would entice the Twins to move someone who has shown such great ability, and to another team in the A.L. no less.

But it is still worth thinking about. The Twins have never been shy about trading a top of the rotation pitcher if they felt like the package they get in return could truly make them better. It's something that is an intriguing possibility for both clubs, and certainly something that we'll be keeping an eye on.

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