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redeyechicago.com

Sox trade for Liriano shores up rotation

You have to credit Williams for surprising move to acquire left-hander from Twins

Phil Rogers

On Baseball

12:12 AM CDT, July 29, 2012

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You have to hand it to Kenny Williams.

While the White Sox general manager didn't land Zack Greinke, like the Angels' Jerry DiPoto, who did, he has found ways to improve on the fly.

Williams filled major holes when he traded for Kevin Youkilis and Brett Myers, and on the surface appears to have made a different kind of trade in adding left-hander Francisco Liriano from the Twins.

Liriano lessens the exposure if Philip Humber or Gavin Floyd suffers a recurrence of the injuries that put them on the disabled list earlier and John Danks does not return from his shoulder problems, which seems more likely all the time. He also adds an extra arm that will allow Robin Ventura to take it a little easier on Jake Peavy and Chris Sale, around whom the fragile starting rotation is built.

Williams paid a relatively high price to get Liriano, who is eligible for free agency after the season. He sent the Twins a potential starting shortstop in Eduardo Escobar along with a fringe prospect starter in Pedro Hernandez, who got clobbered in his only big-league start. But Williams he clearly thinks the White Sox need more pitching to continue this unlikely run toward the playoffs.

For Liriano, the trade to the White Sox should be convenient, at the least. He was scheduled to pitch at Target Field on Sunday but instead will get a day to make the mental transition to a new team before the Sox arrive in Minnesota on Monday.

Rookie Jose Quintana is set to start for the Sox in the opener, followed by Peavy Tuesday. Ventura could schedule Liriano to make his debut Wednesday, as that would get two extra days' rest for Sale, who then would be pushed back until Friday in Chicago against the Angels.

This plan would allow for pitching coach Don Cooper to work with Liriano in a side session Monday. That makes sense. Then again, who knows what Williams has up his sleeve. There's lots of time between now and Tuesday's trade deadline. Maybe someone will make him an offer for Floyd that he can't resist.

progers@tribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribRogers