Now that the hullabaloo of the non-waiver trade deadline has passed without the Twins making any deals, other than the trade this past weekend of Francisco Liriano to the White Sox, it might be time to enjoy a little baseball again.
Following the various speculations and rumors of trades via Twitter this year was at times almost hilarious. The hyperventilation of some fans and bloggers/commenters, unseemly as it was, provided a window into what the baseball world in conjunction with social media looks like.
Although my first reaction was a bit of disappointment for how little the Twins got in return for Liriano, after more thought remembering he was going to be too expensive to keep under any circumstances and understanding the new CBA rules regarding compensatory picks, etc., I think the Twins got about the best they could get. Unlike a number of sports writers and bloggers, I do not think Terry Ryan blew this one. The market for a very inconsistent pitcher – despite his talent – is not very high when his salary is about to become outrageous. No matter how well he does with the White Sox, I expect him to test the free agent market and I do not think he will get anything near the $12.4 million the qualifying offer would have to have been. Right now my bet is he will get a two-year deal with some team for less than $12 million per year.
Likewise, I am not at all disturbed the Twins were unable to work out any deals approaching the deadline today. All of the players who were in some sort of demand are under contract for at least one more year. The Twins did not have to sell low as they did with Liriano. Judging from my cursory review of the flurry of trades, the Twins were not offered enough for what they would have to give up. The Twins need major-league or major-league ready starting pitching. Most teams do not have enough of that themselves, so their asking price is going to be high. I think the Twins will have a better chance for a good, balanced deal during the off-season than pulling the trigger now.
Meanwhile, tonight we get the intriguing match-up of Liriano vs. Nick Blackburn – two pitchers who have been wildly inconsistent and highly disappointing this year.