Joba or Nova for Liriano?

Liriano has of course had a bevy of injury issues so far in his career, but when he’s healthy he’s a legitimate #1 starter on just about every team in baseball. He’s a strikeout and ground ball machine, and those guys just don’t go on trees. It’s not clear whether Nightengale was reporting something he heard from sources in or around the Twins organization or merely speculating on what the Yankees would have to give up, but suffice it to say that if the Yankees actually can acquire Liriano for a package centered around Nova or Joba, the Twins would be selling exceptionally low on a guy who was one of the 5-10 best pitchers in the American League last season.

I took some heat a while back for saying I wouldn’t be excited about trading Manny Banuelos for Liriano, and the more the situation develops, the more I think that’s a pretty solid position to take. Aside from Liriano’s injury history, its just hard to get over how willing the Twins are to trade this guy if these reports are accurate. After all, Minnesota is a team that’s in a position to get to the playoffs this year and probably next year as well, so it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense for them to trade away their best starting pitcher with two years of team control remaining. If they would really give him away for Ivan Nova this season, the Twins front office has either lost their minds, or there’s some other reason they’re so willing to get rid of Liriano. And that sends up some red flags with me, warning signs that would at least make me think long and hard before I parted with one of my elite, near major league ready prospects.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

17 thoughts on “Joba or Nova for Liriano?

  1. smorris793

    Joba for Liriano? I don't care what the red flags are, it's totally worth the risk.

    • Yes please, with seconds.

    • Oh, yeah. If it wasn't clear, I would absolutely jump at getting Liriano if the return package was headling by Nova or Joba. As in like "say yes and hang up so they can't change their mind" fast.

  2. LarryAtIIATMS

    Reading over at Nick's Twins Blog, the Twins seem to be questioning Liriano's conditioning and work ethic. Perhaps the Twins have seen some of those pics of Bartolo Colon and they've concluded that the Yanks are a good place for pitchers with questionable conditioning.

    • jay_robertson

      good point – and if the Twins like Pavano MORE than Liriano – maybe its time to pass. Or, maybe we can trade George Costanza for Pavano – who knows.

      • Well like I've said, I'm not totally wild about trading an elite prospect for Liriano, but if the Yankees don't see Joba as anything more than a reliever there's no reason not to trade him for Liriano, and while I like him, I can't see anyone being high enough on Nova to be unwilling to deal him for a 27 year old with Liriano's talent.

    • There was a report to that effect out of Twins camp when it came out that his shoulder was sore just after pitchers and catchers reported. Basically he confessed that he hadn't stuck to his conditioning routine in the off-season, and his shoulder tightened up after his first two bullpens or so. It was sort of an odd thing for a Minnesota source to put out there if they were going to trade him though, so I wonder if there isn't a more personal reason for the apparent acrimony.

  3. I agree that none of the Killer Bs should be involved in a trade for Liriano, especially with the ever-present questions about his health and the new ones about his conditioning.

    But if the Yanks did their homework and found out he was completely healthy and good to go, I would trade Nova AND Joba for him, if the Twins want to make that deal. I would clean out their lockers, pack their bags for them, and drive them to the airport if the Yankees asked me to.

    Brien said it perfectly, Liriano is an ace on any team with his stuff and his numbers. You absolutely trade a 'back of the rotation' prospect and what amounts to your 6th inning reliever for an ace.

  4. PETE THE BRONX

    FORGET IS THE ACE WE LOOKING FOR.IT A NICE TRADE FOR BOTH TEAMS JOBA.AND.NOVA ARE YOUNG THAT'S A BIG THING IN PITCHING IN THESE'S DAY. JUST WHY ARE THEY LOOKING AT JOBA OR NOVA I'M JUST HOPING IT NOT THE BOTH IF THEM

    • Brick Tamland

      I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE YELLING ABOUT!

  5. piratechefny

    if they wanted to top the package with joba or nova i would tie the big red ribbon on them myself. it does make you think they know something that the rest of the league doesn't if they are willing to sell low like that.

    • On the other hand, the Twins have made some goofy trades in the past 9 months; namely trading Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps and shipping J.J. Hardy off for a couple of minor league relievers.

  6. PETE THE BRONX

    I HOPE THE YANKEES ARE DOING THEY HOME WORK . BECAUSE HE WAS HURT IN THE PAST ARE YOU GETTING THE LIRIANO OF THE PAST OR IS HE HEALTHY.I THINK HE'S GOOD IF HEALTHY. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS IT DOES NOT MATTER BECAUSE WE ARE JUST FANS OF THIS GAME THEY CALL BASEBALL IT ALL ABOUT THE [MONEY]

    • Brick Tamland

      LOUD NOISES!!

  7. Julian

    why not wait for Billy Bean to unload Trevor Cahill once the As aren't in contention again

  8. Marc2511

    Joba for Liriano is a fair trade. Lets keep the young guys. I'd question Joba's conditioning just as much as the Twins question Liriano's.

  9. John

    How likely is this to actually happen? Is just more "Yanks are short on pitching so rumors are running rampant" garbage, or is this a legitimate possibility?

    I think I agree with Marc. I'm ok with Joba and some low level prospects, but I'm not sure I'd give up Nova. I mean, if you do give Nova up, that still leaves you with the Garcia, Colon, and Mitre merry-go-round in the 5th spot.

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