There has been major talk about trading Francisco Liriano this week thanks to Joe C. of the Star Tribune. Since this post is all about trying to get Brian Cashman fired, keep in mind that the Yankees need to do something. They have been bested in pretty much every move they attempted this season when it comes to the big names that didn't wear Yankee Pinstripes last season. For starters, Cliff Lee made his way back to Philadelphia while Carl Crawford will try to make Fenway's Green Monster feel his pain. Even Jim Thome refused the big bucks that come with becoming an Yankee and resigned with the Twins. The only good news for the Yankees is that most of the core four is still together, and Rivera has his heir apparent. Even if George Steinbrenner were alive and well today, I don't think he would fire Cashman for missing a few Free Agents. After the jump, the trade that will give him his walking papers.
What the Yankees would give Us
- Joba Chamberlain: He would headline the group of players headed to Minnesota. The main reason for his departure from New York is because of control issues as a starter. As a result, manager Joe Girardi demoted him to the bullpen much like what happened with Nick Blackburn. His salary is $1.4 million for 2011 with Arb. beginning in 2012 putting him under team control through 2014. This compares with the reported $4.3 million that Liriano is getting this season.
- Brett Gardner: The Yankees Outfielder is a left-handed bat that has progressed very well throughout his career since joining in 2008 and is under team control through 2015. His batting average is at .268 for his career with a 4.3 WAR. and his salary is at $453K for 2011 compared with $10.5 million for Michael Cuddyer.
- Eduardo Nunez: He is a second baseman that is a pretty good right handed batter as well. The only problem, he is in the same position as Wilson Ramos last season. In Ramos case, it was Joe Mauer while Eduardo's case it is Robinson Cano with Derek Jeter also being a factor since Nunez can play both second and short.
What We Would Give the Yankees
- Francisco Liriano: The most definite part of this trade. Despite his injuries, Liriano has been a good pitcher for the Twins. (I withhold the term great because there have been pitchers that have performed better such as Johan Santana.) In my mind, Liriano needs better command of his fastball and change-up and that should make him a better pitcher.
- Michael Cuddyer: Yes Cuddyer is due $10.5 Million this season (all salaries are from baseballreference.com). And Yes, you the reader might think the Twins would just give up and go on a spring training fire sale given the players that we are dropping. However, Michael is affordable for the Yankees they are under the $200 million threshold on their player payroll. Though not the headline player, he would offer another bat for the Yankees and would be back in his natural position in right field at Yankee Stadium. This is also given that it would allow Chris Parmalee to make the trip north for our season opener at Toronto.
- Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert, or a player to be named later: It depends, but I would vote for sending Matt Tolbert to the Yankees unless the Yankees can option somebody else making Alexi Casilla the player sent to New York.
For the most part, I am blaming the New York media for giving the Twins something to talk about during the last few days before spring training. The reason for this, though, is the fact that the Yankees need better pitching since a certain future hall-of-famer retired. I don't blame them. They were lusting after Joe Mauer before he signed his extension. It would almost been possible that Johan Santana would have been an Yankee in 2009 if he not have been traded to the Mets by the Twins in 2008. And this past off season, there was no shortage of hope from the New York media that Crawford and Lee would be in pinstripes next week.
So, what is my position on this trade. Since the Twins are dealing from a position of strength, I would do it. For starters it forces the Yankees to give up some players that are currently under team control until the middle of the decade. Plus it forces them to take two players that will likely not be in Yankee pinstripes in 2012 and another that is a "Gardy player."
Yes the Twins could wait until mid-season to see how Liriano is doing pitching wise. By then it could be too late if he is injured or has regressed to the pitcher he was in 2009, or is injured with a relapse of Tommy John. Even if we do wait, and Liriano has a great year at the all-star break, there is a good chance that he could be involved in a trade if the Twins were out of contention though that might not happen given the team's recent history despite the fact we could be out of the gate 0-7 given we have Toronto and the Yankees as our first opponents on the road. However, we could also be 5-7 following our first 12 games since our first home stand is against Oakland and Kansas City.
So if you are Bill Smith, what would it be? Do we trade Francisco Liriano to the Yankees now, or wait and see? Vote in the poll and leave a comment below.