There wasnít a posting on Thursday morning because, I am thrilled to announce, I received the pre-ordered Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbooks on Wednesday, and spent that whole night getting them ready to be mailed out right away on ThursdayÖ It was a bit of a late one, but it is complete. If you ordered a copy (or two) of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook via pre-order, you got a great deal, and your books are on their way now. Hopefully you will start seeing them very soon! If you pre-ordered and donít get your copy by next Wednesday, please let me know. Thank you again to all that ordered.
If you are going to Ft. Myers, it will be nice to have with you, for when you see a minor leaguer get a late-inning at bat, or some time in the field. Or maybe youíll be walking through minor league camp. And hey, itís good for autographs too! So, if you didnít pre-order, and you have yet to order, it is now available online here. For just $14.95, you get 170 page of Twins minor league content.
With that, letís talk a little bit about Joe Christensenís article about the idea of trading Francisco Liriano. Iíve been asked several times today for my thoughts. Here are a few:
∑ Joe Christensen is as credible as it gets. If he was willing to put the story into the paper, itís based on something, probably discussions with people in the know.
∑ So, the questions become Who? and Why?
o Could it be coming from Lirianoís agent? Remember two years ago when Liriano was pitching at Rochester and his agent complained publically that Liriano was being held back in Triple-A so that he wouldnít be arbitration-eligible? Could the agent be upset at the Twins still and trying to start something in an attempt to get his agent a lot of dollars, or a trade to a place he wants to go?
o Could it have been leaked by the Twins front office? Maybe in an attempt to gauge a couple of things. First, they can gauge fan reaction to potentially trading an ace-like pitcher when most have been saying that the team needs to add an ace (it would not be pretty at all for a team that claims to want to win now). Second, it could show up on MLB Trade Rumors and on Twitter and teams could then contact the Twins to see what it would take to get the Twins lefty.
∑ Iíve said all along that I would be comfortable with the Twins signing Liriano for up to four years and up to $40 million. Again, that was based on comparables Zach Greinke and Josh Johnsonís contracts signed at the same point in their careers. HoweverÖ
∑ As I have said numerous times, I am 100% against signing starting pitchers to huge contracts beyond the age of 31, maybe 32. It was interesting to read what Andy McPhail, former Twins GM and current Orioles GM, said yesterday about signing #1 starters. ďWe're not going to be buying No. 1 pitchers. Because by the time they reach free agency, they're expensive and they're fragile. It's just a bad place for us to spend our money.Ē
∑ That said, I have also said that there are plenty of reasons to just go one year now. Yes, his Tommy John surgery was in November of 2006, but that was far from his first arm injury. As much as I say that, at the end of the day, Iíll put Lirianoís stats against anyone, I donít disagree with those who say that he tends to get a little over-excited in big games and big moments. If Liriano is really asking for the three years and $39 million mentioned in the article, the Twins would be better off just having an ace at $4.5 million this year and see what happens.
∑ If that 3 years and $39 million number was an extension beyond the $4.5 million he will make in 2011, then the four year total would be 4 years and $43.5 million. As John Bonnes has said on twitter, thatís about where the agent should start negotiations as it is only $3.5 million over what I thought was fair.
o He blogged about it today and tried to make me look smart.
∑ It isnít worth getting upset about the story for many reasons.
o First, I donít really think that the Twins will trade Francisco Liriano before the season starts.
o Second, maybe Liriano and his agent have demanded a trade. We donít know the whole story.
o Third, We donít know what the trade market would be for someone like Liriano.
∑ What type of package could the Twins get for Liriano? I mean, what if the Rays offered Jeremy Hellickson and Desmond Jennings? What if the Angels offered a package around Mike Trout?
∑ Michael Young for Francisco Liriano, even if the Rangers throw in a lot of cash, is not a good tradeÖ Add in Derek Holland, and we can sit down at a table together and start talking.
∑ Seth's Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2011 is now available online here. For just $14.95, you get 170 page of Twins minor league content.
∑ 100 Things Twins Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die is a new book which will be available March 1. Twins writer Alex Halsted is the author, and Iím told I may have a cameo.