Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trade Span and Liriano?

Pat Reusse suggests that the Twins may deal Denard Span and Francisco Liriano. Both of these moves have been talked about before and make some sense.

The Twins now have Ben Revere slated to play left field. But his best position is center field, where his defensive prowess makes his offense less critical. That makes Span expendable in some ways. Where Span isn't easily replaceable is in his role as leadoff hitter. The Twins do not really have anyone else with his combination of skills.

One of things that gives Span value is that the Twins have him under contract through 2015 (including an expensive option). That makes him a lot more valuable as trade bait. Closer to Chuck Knoblauch than Johan Santana. If the Twins can get a quality starter in return, they would probably be willing to let Span go. That possibility would make their continued pursuit of Cuddyer and Kubel after signing Willingham more understandable.

Liriano is a tougher sell. He is a free agent after next season, so the Twins interest in moving him is understandable. The real issue is whether they can get anything of value in return. I think this would have to mostly be a salary dump for whatever they can get. I doubt the Twins are going to go there.


Anonymous said...

Moving Revere from left to center only upgrades his offense from 'outrage' to 'disgrace'.

Yes, he's young enough to improve, and drawing walks is a skill that often develops slower than others.

But he's still probably going to end up being another offensive sinkhole on a team that's already filled with them.

Jim H said...

I have never seen Ruesse ever write anything that would make you think he has any real contacts within the Twins organization. Thus he is passing on rumors. While there can be some fun in speculating on rumors, most of the time it is a waste of time.

I don't see a lot of sense in trading Span. While the Twins need pitching and he could fetch some, the Twins would probably have to be counting on Benson to be ready this year. While this possible, they also have to be sure that Revere is ready to take over the lead off spot. Since the moves they are making tends to suggest they expect? to contend this year, I would think they hold on to Span.

Of course that means they have to get pitching another way. While I don't think counting on Liriano for much is a good idea, he isn't likely to get much return in trade either.

The injuries and nonperformances last season have put the Twins in a difficult position. It is easy to see bounce back performances from many of their players, but there are holes. Most holdover players probably aren't that high on other teams wish lists. You are likely selling low on many of them if you trade them now.

There is probably more room in the budget than Ryan first indicated but there is no way the Twins get the "ace" some fans are wishing for.

Unlike many, I think the Twins have quite a bit of useful minor league talent nearly ready to help. I think Revere is going to be very good. I think Henrick is likely to a top of rotation starter, maybe within 2 years. I expect both Benson and Parmelee will be good enough to start, at some point, though likely not this year. There are a couple of pitchers that may or may not help.

The last is the kicker. It might be a couple of years before recent draft choices or guys like Gibson, Salcedo, Wimmers, can help. Unless the Twins get a little lucky with some their recent pickups on the waiver wire, or minor league free agents, or rule 5guys, or maybe guys like Bromberg or Guiterez, there is are going to be some holes in the pitching staff.

Jim H said...

The interesting question is how will the Twins get pitching. In the past when Ryan needed pitching he would often sign low cost free agents. He usually did that when he had decent starters at AAA, and he just wanted to make sure they were ready before they were promoted. I don't know that applys now, except for Henrick. The other possible starters probably aren't likely all that good.

Another problem is whether the current four likely starters will hold up as starters or are even all that likely to begin the year as starters. Pavano, Blackburn and Baker are all decent starters when healthy-the when healthy is a big question for all 3. Certain Twins fans believe Liriano could be an ace. I think that is unlikely, but a bigger question is whether he can be consistent.

So I think another starter is a big need and he needs to be more than a maybe. I don't think Ryan can bring in guy who will be good IF he is healthy or IF he regains his past form or IF he is as good as was 4 years ago.

How to find a affordable guy like that is more difficult. There aren't many free agents without major question marks left. Trade targets in this category are going to cost a lot in terms of prospects.

I don't get very excited about guys like Edwin Jackson or Garza. They are likely to cost too much in terms of prospects or money and have seldom been more than middle to back end rotation guys. Despite their stuff. Which is why they are always being moved around.

It will be interesting to see how Ryan solves this problem.

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