Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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It's true: Twins got more for Francisco Liriano than Santana

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: April 24, 2013 - 1:31 PM

Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano were the main sources of the Twins' miracle comeback in the 2006 season. The run started from 25-33 in June and for two months, Santana and Liriano refused to lose. As we all recall, Liriano broke down in early August and wound up with Tommy John surgery during the offseason.

Santana was the hottest commodity on the trade market after the 2007 season. Legend has it, the Twins wanted both pitcher Jon Lester and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury as the keys to a trade with Boston. If the Twins had settled for one, and a package of others, it would have been a fine trade.

They didn't, Boston pulled away, and the Twins were left scrambling to make a deal.

That's the legend, anyway. There are Boston people who will tell you that there was never a chance the Red Sox were going to trade Ellsbury, much-anticpated in New England as a star of the future.

Whatever, the Twins wound up trading their two-time Cy Young Award winner to the New York Mets for center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra. The potential standouts in this group were said to be Gomez and Guerra, a large, hard-throwing righthander in the low minors.

Humber pitched a perfect game. It was last April for the White Sox. He had been released by the Twins in August 2009.

Mulvey was exchanged for Arizona reliever Jon Rauch on Sept. 1, 2009. Rauch had 21 saves for the Twins in 2010 before Matt Capps was acquired from Washington on July 29.

Some people feel as if Twins World would be a better place today if the Twins had ridden it out with Rauch and retained catcher Wilson Ramos.

The Twins invested two seasons in Gomez and then traded him to Milwaukee for shortstop J.J. Hardy. This would have been a crown jewel of trades for the Bill Smith administration, if the Twins hadn't decided Hardy was injury-prone and sent him to Baltimore for pitchers Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson.

The Twins waived Hoey after the 2011 season. They released Jacobson last summer. This wasn't the worst of it for the Twins. Trading Hardy was a percursor to signing Tsuyoshi Nishioka as his replacement.

Gomez has finally emerged as a productive, every-day player for the Brewers. Hardy has been a big asset for the Orioles -- including winning a Gold Glove last season.

Guerra hasn't made it to the big leagues. He was taken off the big-league roster last winter. He's now out for most of the season after surgery to remove a rib.

Let's summarize:

Humber and Mulvey won zero games for the Twins. Rauch was acquired from Arizona for Mulvey, but wasn't quite good enough to prevent the Twins from trading an excellent catching prospect -- CATCHING! -- for a replacement.

Gomez was a medicority, was traded for an asset, and then the asset was traded for nothing, and the replacement became a disaster in foreign recruitment.

And, the sole player left from the deal is a long shot to see the mound in the big leagues.

Liriano, the other super-duper lefty from '06. came back from the elbow surgery and went through four seasons with the Twins that aged manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson as much as four years in the White House age a president.

The Twins finally took any deal they could get -- sending Frankie to the division rival in Chicago for infielder Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Pedro Hernandez last July 28. The winning decade was over, the Twins had hit hard times in the standings and with their fan base, and the expectations for this trade could not have been lower.

Guess what? Escobar is a serviceable utility player and could prove to be more than that. And Hernandez ... well, he's lefthanded, and while I don't think he's a starter, he has the look of a guy who could be in a big-league bullpen 15 years ago, still throwing his slider to lefty hitters.

Believe it or not, seven years after Santana and Liriano were the aces of the Great Turnaround, the Twins wound up getting less for a two-time Cy Young Award winner at the top of his game than they did for a discombobulated lefty who had become a failed starter.

 

 

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Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
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NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
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Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
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St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
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Oakland - WP: J. Lester 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 0
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 2 FINAL
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Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
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Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 19 FINAL
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San Diego 30
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(23) Ohio State 66
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FIU 25
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Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
Iowa State 20 FINAL
Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
Kansas 3 FINAL
Duke 41
NC State 49 FINAL
So Florida 17
Arkansas State 20 FINAL
Miami-Florida 41
Miss State 35 FINAL
South Alabama 3
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(10) Ole Miss 56
Minnesota 7 FINAL
TCU 30
Illinois 19 FINAL
Washington 44
Army 0 FINAL
(16) Stanford 35
Western Mich 45 FINAL
Idaho 33
Eastern Mich 3 FINAL
Old Dominion 17
Southern Miss 12 FINAL
(3) Alabama 52
Northern Ill 48 FINAL
UNLV 34
Tulsa 21 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 50
ULM 0 FINAL
(8) LSU 31
Wake Forest 24 FINAL
Utah State 36
Western Ky 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 50
TX-San Antonio 13 FINAL
(25) Oklahoma State 43
Purdue 14 FINAL
(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28
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