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On Saturday, the Twins signed Scott Baker to a four year, $15.25 million deal.
On Sunday, Francisco Liriano threw four perfect innings against the Baltimore Orioles regulars. He struck out five and reports indicate that he had all of his pitches working. He stayed healthy in 2008. He had the Tommy John surgery. Is there a chance that he could be one of the pitchers who ends up being even better after that surgery? What if he’s one that ends up being even better!? Scary!
So, you are the Twins GM. Channel your inner-Bill Smith, and answer this question for me. (Note – pretend that Bill Smith would actually spill something) It is the question of the day for Twins fans?
Would you offer the same long-term contract that Scott Baker signed a day earlier to Francisco Liriano?
They are essentially in the same place in terms of big league service time. Baker has been relatively healthy, at least with his shoulder and elbow. Liriano had the Tommy John surgery, but he also had arm problems when he was still with the Giants. Scott Baker’s dedication and work ethic are not questioned. We occasionally hear little pokes about Liriano not working terribly hard. Scott Baker is the team’s Opening Day starter and most fans would call him the team’s #1 pitcher. Most Twins fans acknowledge that when it comes to pure ‘stuff’ and dominance potential, Liriano is as good as anyone in baseball. Both show very good poise and command on the mound.
The Twins certainly would take on some risk, but maybe there could be incentives for additional option years which would vest with a certain number of innings pitched. For Liriano, he certainly could make more money by going year to year. But he had Tommy John surgery at a point in his career where he was not set for life yet. Signing a long-term deal would give him some financial security.
So what would you do? Would you offer the same contract? Would you offer more, or less? Please feel free to send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or discussion points in the Comments here.