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.