So. Apparently, when I saw Joe C's story about "trading Francisco Liriano," I should have thought to myself "Maybe tomorrow isn't the best time to talk about veteran middle infielders."
In case you missed it, Joe Christensen posted a story Wednesday night saying basically two things:
1) The Twins are not interested in signing Liriano to a long-term deal and
2) similarly, the Twins don't consider him untouchable, so we all have his permission to talk about trading him.
And so we did.
But we missed the bombshell here. It isn't that Liriano is on his way out the door. There is nothing in the story that implies anything is at all close, or that the Twins have even attempted to have trade talks with teams. The bombshell is that the Twins, right now, don't value Liriano nearly as high we thought they did (and probably should).
One area that is being misreported is that the Twins turned down a 3-year/$39 million offer from Liriano's agent. That isn't what Christensen reported. What he said was: "From what I've heard, their long-term talks went nowhere, with Liriano's camp hinting it wanted a three-year, $39 million contract."
What's significant about this is that a 3-year/$39M extension is exactly the range where negotiations should have started from Liriano's side. Seth Stohs did a fantastic job of breaking down what a long-term extension for Liriano might look like in this year's GM's Handbook. He noted that two similar deals, by two similar pitchers with similar service time were recently signed. That provides a hell of a template:
If you add up the 8/14/14 for 2012-14 for Liriano, you get $36M, or about $1M less per year than Liriano's camp hinted at. If that figure was a non-starter for the Twins, then they just don't have any interest in signing Liriano long-term, because it's awfully close to his market value.
Now, maybe that changes. Maybe they just want to see more than one full-year out of Frankie, and I wouldn't blame them too much for that. But Christensen's primary point is very clear - right now Liriano is not considered an integral part of the Twins long-term future.