Twins trade Liriano to White Sox for two players

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 29, 2012 - 9:03 AM

The Twins got pitcher Pedro Hernandez and infielder Eduardo Escobar, and they will be sent to Class AAA.


Francisco Liriano's last start for Ron Gardenhire and the Twins wasn't a good one, as he gave up three homers in 2 2/3 innings to the White Sox on Monday, but Chicago saw enough in the lefthander to trade for him Saturday night.

Photo: Nuccio Dinuzzo, Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It wasn't shocking that the Twins traded Francisco Liriano late Saturday night, just three days before the nonwaiver trade deadline. But it was surprising to see him land with the division rival Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox acquired Liriano for middle infielder Eduardo Escobar and lefthanded pitcher Pedro Hernandez, who are both heading to Class AAA Rochester for the Twins.

Liriano was scheduled to start Sunday's game against Cleveland for the Twins. Now, he will wait around the Twin Cities until the White Sox arrive at Target Field on Monday and likely will face the Twins in that three-game series.

"I'm not thrilled with trading him within the division, obviously," General Manager Terry Ryan said. "You guys know where we are in the standings."

Saturday night's 12-5 victory over Cleveland pulled the Twins out of last place for the first time since April 25.

Liriano, 28, is eligible for free agency after the season. Ryan said Liriano expressed interest in staying with the Twins, but the team did not offer the lefthander a contract extension.

"We didn't want to be left with nothing [if Liriano left as a free agent]," Ryan said.

Since making the All-Star team as a rookie in 2006, Liriano has had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and gone through several ups and downs.

He is 50-52 for his career and 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA this year. Those numbers don't begin to tell the story, of course. He twirled a no-hitter on May 3, 2011 -- coincidentally, against the White Sox. In his third-to-last start for the Twins, Liriano racked up 15 strikeouts against Oakland, but Monday he gave up seven runs in 22/3 innings -- once again, against the White Sox.

"They know what they're getting, and I know what we're giving up," Ryan said.

As for what the Twins are getting in return, neither Hernandez nor Escobar profiles as an elite prospect.

Hernandez, 23, was traded to the White Sox from the Padres in December. A Venezuela native whose fastball generally sits in the 90-92-miles-per-hour range, Hernandez is 8-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 15 games combined this year between Class AA and Class AAA, including 14 starts.

He made his major league debut for the White Sox on July 18 and gave up eight runs in four innings at Boston's Fenway Park. The Twins believe Hernandez can become a full-time starter in the big leagues, but Ryan didn't want to say if he's a No. 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 starter.

"I'm not going to say that because I would have said that Scott Diamond's a potential number, and it wouldn't have been accurate," he said. "We'll let him make his own way. He has enough stuff. He's got a fastball, slider and a change. He throws a lot of strikes, which is good, but I'm not going to say he pitches to contact. He pitches to get outs."

Baseball America had Escobar ranked as Chicago's 10th-best prospect after the 2011 season, but the White Sox farm system is notoriously thin.

Escobar has spent all season in the majors with the White Sox. In 87 at-bats, he hit .207 with no home runs, including going 2-for-5 with an RBI double in Chicago's 5-1 victory at Texas on Saturday night. He wasn't a regular for the White Sox, and the Twins view him as more than a utility infielder.

"He's a switch hitter who can run," Ryan said. "He's got tremendous energy. He's strong enough. He can play shortstop. He can play second. He doesn't really profile at third offensively, but he can play there. Defensively you wouldn't have any problem with any of the three."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 FINAL(SO)
Vancouver 6
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?

Weekly Question