Joe Christensen dropped a minor bombshell on Minneapolis this morning, writing that the Twins may be open to trading Francisco Liriano at some point during spring training. According to Christensen, the Twins were put off by his asking price when the possibility of a long term deal was broached, and now they don’t expect to keep the pitcher beyond 2012. With depth in the rotation and a decent argument to be made that moving Liriano now would be the definition of selling high, there is some logic to exploring what their ace would command in return.
Three other starting pitchers in a similar position have already been traded this winter – Zack Greinke, Matt Garza, and Shaun Marcum. Greinke and Marcum were in identical positions, as they’ll be eligible for free agency at the end of the 2012 season. Garza has an extra year of team control, but because he was a super-two and became arbitration eligible last year, his prices are rising faster than the others and that final year will be rather expensive, limiting its value and making Garza more like the others.