In a trade so under-the-radar that it was originally broke by the White Sox official twitter account, the Sox dealt Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez for Twins starter Francisco Liriano.
Liriano will presumably come right into the starting rotation, giving the Sox the ability to not only rest Chris Sale as they feel is needed, but also punish Floyd and Humber for poor performance as they desire.
To get this out of the way, the cost is negligible. Eduardo Escobar did fine work as a utility man and did a lot to endear himself with his performance Saturday night–it might have even helped to sell him–but he’s a utility infielder and Pedro Hernandez is a middle relief prospect. These are not assets to be hoarded, and to get a quality starting pitcher–even a rental–in return for them is just fine.
Whether Francisco can actually be that quality starter is a mystery. He is obviously blessed with worlds of talent, but also can lose his mechanics and control at the drop of a rosenbag. That’s evidenced with his 5.31 ERA for the year and the fact that he was kicked out of the rotation earlier in the season.
He was in the middle of a renaissance (10 starts, 63.1 IP, 2.84 ERA, 77 K) upon returning, until the White Sox tagged him for three runs and knocked him out of it. He could be the huge upgrade needed, he could also be bad enough to single-handedly lose a handful of games for the Sox down the stretch. White Sox fans are optimistic, Tigers fans are rolling around with laughter; both are appropriate reactions to Liriano’s track record.
In fact, the first replies to the White Sox initial tweet of the news were: “Interesting…”, “F*** you”, “YES!”
Tremendous raw ability and a lack of stability seems like an obvious ‘Coop’ll fix ’em’ situation, and no finer mirror of the Edwin Jackson situation exists. But this isn’t a cavalcade of live bullpen arms competing for a single spot in Spring Training. This is someone who needs to be a valuable rotation member from the moment he gets off the plane until the end of the year.
There’s a great deal of pressure and risk, but since this entire season has been based around talented veterans finding it again, this is only appropriate.
It had better work, since Kenny is all finished.
Kenny Williams has worked hard to make a deal. Via email: move for Liriano “imperative.” Also said phone is out minutes, he’s turning it off
— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesCSN) July 29, 2012
At the very least, here’s betting Alexei Ramirez is good to go Sunday.