A few months back when the Mets looked like they could compete this season, I began to think of where they could address the inevitable problems in the rotation. Aside from the fantasy of making a move for a pitcher like Cole Hamels, I began to think that the Twins Francisco Liriano would make sense for the Mets and now with Gee possibly done for the year, it is time to explore a trade for the Minnesota south paw.
Liriano has never quite lived up to the expectations that the league and Twins set for him when he broke out in 2006 with a 12-3 record and 144 strikeouts. Injuries have been to blame for that but he has shown flashes of brilliance including a no-hitter last season and a 15 strikeout game last night. Liriano currently sports a 3-8 record for a terrible Minnesota Twins team, and a change of scenery could do well for the man.
For what it’s worth, Liriano has killed lefties this year, keeping them well below the Mendoza line in that category. That could be particularly helpful with Philadelphia’s left handed bats finally healthy, as well as the power bats for the Braves landing in the left handed batters box as well. Also, Liriano thrived in Minnesota when he pitched with Johan Santana. It is easy to imagine that Johan could impose even more knowledge on the 28 year old if they were to be reunited. Perhaps the most intriguing part of Liriano is the fact he can become a free agent after this season, so if he were to come to the Mets and fail, he could be rid of after this season.
The question is, what would the Twins want for him? It is obvious that the Mets would not part with any of their top prospects for Liriano, but perhaps it wouldn’t take something of that magnitude. The frugal Twins would probably be glad to be rid of Liriano’s 5 million plus salary and not have to go through arbitration with him after this season, so a few mid-level prospects could get the job done or a least get the trade talks going.
If it can be done, I am all for it. I have always liked him and though he is high risk, he could ultimately pay off two fold if he at least stabilizes the back of the rotation, and keeps the Mets from making the mistake of calling up Matt Harvey to soon. So if that means parting with a AA prospect or two, I am on board.