I Can’t Believe I Have To Talk About It, But Francisco Liriano’s Trade Value


Well crap. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Twins are keeping an eye on Yankees prospects and could be trading Francisco Liriano. While my message for Bill Smith is a simple “don’t effing trade him,” it couldn’t hurt to take a look at his trade value should Bill Smith pull the plug on the 2011 season.

Per usual, these values come from Sky Kalkman at Beyond the Boxscore.

First off, salary: Liriano is in his second to last year of team control, and is slated to make 4.3 million this season. He should make roughly 6 million next year, but using the 40/60/80 method for arbitration the spreadsheet would have him making roughly 14 million. I’m going to do a bit of a compromise and put it at 8.

Next, performance: Fan projections on Fangraphs have him at 5.5 WAR, and Marcel projections have him a bit lower than that. Because Liriano has had significant arm problems (and now apparently has another bout of shoulder soreness) I am going to depress his value even further and put him at 4.5 and 4 WAR for the next two seasons. Again, this isn’t necessarily what I think it will be, but more of a baseline/very conservative estimate. I’ll stop short of saying worst case scenario because, as we all know, with pitchers there’s always a worse case.

Lastly, I took out the value for draft pick compensation because it is extremely likely that will be done away with in the next CBA. Still, if you’d like you can give him probably 2.5 million for being a type B.

Let’s take a look at what we come up with:

So what does this mean? Well, Liriano is worth 26.6 million in surplus value, meaning the Twins should get that much in return from the Yankees (assuming that is where he is traded). How much is 26.6 million in prospects? Thanks to Victor Wang and Erik Manning, we know (or at least have a very good idea).

Some possible packages: Dellin Betances and Austin Romine, Manny Banuelos (or Betances) and Andrew Brackman. The list goes on and on.

But I think they should swing for the fences and ask for Jesus Montero. Although he doesn’t have a position, he’s one of the best hitters in the minors and would be a cornerstone bat in the middle of the Twins lineup for years to come. I’d still honestly rather have Liriano who, when he’s healthy, is one of the top 5 starters in baseball, but Montero would be a nice consolation prize.