If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you've probably seen me use the hashtag "#TradeLiriano" every five games at least. Here's an example from less than a week ago:
— Enrique Aguilar (@mrkwx) July 24, 2012
Well, my wish finally came true. On Saturday night, the Twins traded Fransisco Liriano to the White Sox for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez. Here is Twinkie Town's assessment on the trade and specifications on these minor league players Minnesota received in return. But basically, Escobar is an infielder who can field but can't hit. And Hernandez is a left-handed starting pitcher who has decent minor league numbers.
Apparently, not many Twins fans liked this trade. I happen to not be among this group. First of all, I had gotten to a point where I would have taken a Target Field Cuban sandwich (which, by the way, is really good) for Frankie. I'd seen Liriano described as mercurial by a few different bloggers; I always chose to describe him as maddening. He was simply not a consistent, reliable starting pitcher. While quite talented and possessing good "stuff," the Twins could no longer count on him in an already weak rotation. Frankly, I was tired of not knowing which version of Frankie Minnesota would get on any given start.
Fans seemed to have wanted more in return than those two minor league players who did not project even among Chicago's top prospects. I do understand that. The farm system needs to be replenished. However, Liriano will be a free agent at the end of the season. He was, even for a couple months, a gamble for any team. His value just wasn't high enough. The clubs that were interested in him were just looking for a rental pitcher in their push for the playoffs, not an ace to build a rotation around. I'm glad the Twins received something in return for him, even if the two players have little major league upside. We couldn't realistically have expected much more than that.
In addition, fans are frustrated because Liriano was traded to the Twins' biggest rival. After all, the last time they traded with the White Sox was in 1986. And, no, I don't like the idea of giving them a good pitcher who might help them win the division. But, first of all, let's face it, the Twins aren't going to challenge for the division this year. Second of all, I know Fransisco Liriano well. I'm calling him the Trojan Horse of this rivalry.
He seemed like a good guy and, if his ex-teammates' tweets on Saturday are any indication, was well-liked in the clubhouse. But now he plays for the enemy. Fransisco Liriano is scheduled to pitch in Minneapolis on Tuesday. It'll be a little weird, but he'll be starting for the White Sox, so I'm hoping he loses.