Francisco Liriano: A Yankee? Fantasy Implications

Francisco Liriano is an interesting cat. Two years ago he blew up my fantasy team (in a bad way). Last year he was a solid complement. In 2010 Liriano produced: a 3.62 ERA, 14-10, and 201 strikeouts. Pretty solid numbers. However, lets review his sub-par 2009: 5.80 ERA, 5-13, 122 strikeouts. So he is a tale of two extremes. Fantasyknuckleheads tipped me off to Liriano’s possible trade to the NYY or TEX. I’m going to focus this piece on the Yankees.

The Yankees are in desperate need of pitching. Especially with the retirement of Andy Pettite. Other then CC their best pitcher is a shaky Phil Hughes and a “confidence shattered” AJ Burnett. Liriano has been up and down as a Twin. If he can’t handle the pressure of a Twin Cities then how is he going to handle “The City That Never Sleeps?”

Brian Cashman is obviously under the gun to perform. His influence seems to be waning. However, pulling the trigger on this trade could be the end of his tenure. If this shock-and-awe approach works he is resigned. If it fails (like I suspect) a new GM will take over the reigns of the most storied franchise in baseball history. Cashman is feeling what I call the “Phillie Effect.” The Phils have the best starting rotation in baseball. The Yankees know that they can’t compete with them unless they upgrade the pitching. This isn’t 2009. The Yankees have gotten older and they don’t have the same “pop” they once had.

Fantasy Implications: Stay the heck away from Liriano if he is traded. He will only disappoint. Let your fantasy opponents make the mistake. You are a well informed flukester. Stay Educated my Friends! Now, if Liriano remains with Minnesota consider taking him in the double digit rounds. Mainly, because the Twins park and Minnesota’s Media are more forgiving then the Big Apple!

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