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Twins Acquire Tyler Mahle from Reds


Twins Daily Contributor

Buckle up Twins fans; the starting rotation just got a massive jolt. According to Jon Heyman the Minnesota Twins have acquired Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle. Twins Daily's Ted Schwerzler reported that the Twins have sent infield prospects Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand and starting pitcher prospect Steve Hajjar to the Reds.

Tyler Mahle was one of the top three starting pitchers on the trade market, along with Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas , both of who were traded earlier. He not only should assist the Twins in a tight AL Central division race, he definitely slots in as a playoff-caliber starter if the Twins make the postseason.

His 4.40 ERA doesn’t tell the story his 3.61 FIP suggests. Playing in the bandbox that is Great American Ballpark, his 9.7 K/9 should slot in as the best in Minnesota’s rotation. Mahle doesn’t issue a ton of walks, and he’s kept the homers down to just 1.0 HR/9 this season.

Advanced analytics like Mahle quite a bit as well. His expected ERA is 3.20 and he’s never allowed a high barrel rate. Having registered less than a 30% hard-hit rate each of the past three seasons, his stuff gives him a good chance to compete on a nightly basis. He’s turned up the whiff rate in the past three seasons, and that coincides with an increasing amount of chases from opposing hitters. Mahle sits in the low-to-mid 90’s, and is predominantly a fastball-changeup arm.

Given a future window of competition, Minnesota hasn’t looked to acquire partial-year rentals in the rotation and Mahle represents proof of that. He’s under team control through 2023 and is making just $5.2 million this season. At 27 years old, he could also certainly be an extension candidate for the Twins if they choose to go that route.

The Minnesota Twins worked with the Cincinnati Reds this offseason to acquire Sonny Gray in exchange for 2021 first-round pick Chase Petty. It can be assumed these discussions started back then, and the two sides came together again when the front office was able to swing a deal for Mahle.For fans suggesting the front office work to add at least one starting pitcher alongside a reliever or two, this is about as strong of a step forward as could’ve been expected. But it comes at a significant cost. Not only are three players top Twins 20 prospects, all of them have had remarkable seasons this year.

  • Spencer Steer , a third round draft pick in 2019 (and #6 on TD’s Twins prospect list) sailed through AA and has continued his hot hitting in St. Paul, posting a 889 OPS with 20 homer runs between both leagues.
  • Christian Encarnacion-Strand (TD’s #16) began 2022 with 14 RBI in his first two games in High-A Cedar Rapids, has also been promoted, and currently has a 1085 OPS in AA as a 22-year-old.
  • Steve Hajjar (TD’s #19) was last year’s 2nd round draft pick, and has 71 K in 43.1 innings in Low A Fort Myers, with a 2.89 ERA in 12 starts.

Still, that’s what prospect capital is for at the trade deadline. The Twins have gained significant rotation help for the division race, and a frontline starter that can bolster the group for the rotation.

Stay tuned to Twins Daily for more trade deadline updates in the coming hours.


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I love this move, Mahle is a lot better than his perception. I preferred him to Montas and think he was about even with Castillo. Absolutely awesome deadline so far, I hope they're not done. Go get Joc Pederson and one more reliever. 

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Ted and TD gets cited in MLBTR for breaking the  Twins part of the deal, in the same sentence as Jon Heyman! Way to go TD and Ted!

 

        2:50pm: The teams have agreed to a trade sending Mahle to the Twins, tweets Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Ted Schwerzler of TwinsDaily reports that Minnesota is sending is sending infield prospects Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the Reds, as well as lefty Steven Hajjar (Twitter link).

 

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I'm OK with giving up Steer... but including CEH hurts. That's 3 top 20 prospects for Mahle, who is a fine starter but nothing special. We desperately need a starter like him who can go the distance but he's not going to be a difference-maker in the playoffs.

I wouldn't be shocked if the Reds eventually 'win' this trade in a few years' time... but we could offset this by inking Mahle to an extension. 

 

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Wow.   We gave up way too much for him. I think Christian Encarnacion Strand is going to be a stud at the MLB level iin a few years.  But this team, which is going nowhere in the playoffs, was pressured into this by short sighted fans and media.   At least there is a couple years of control but I think we are going to rue the day we gave away CES.   I understand that you have to pay for a pitcher like this but this was too much.    

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Wicked! This is the one I wanted see.

I mean, getting Castillo would have been the best, but would likely cost Miranda plus another piece or two, as he is clearly top pitcher traded so far.  I viewed Montas and Mahle as essentially 2a and 2b, with Mahle likely being far less prospect capital due to name value. 

Great haul. Steer has no position to play on the Twins at any point in the next 3-4 years barring injury. He was the definition of expendable.

I hate slighting guys who make it to the level of proficiency that they can succeed at some levels of MLB affiliate baseball, but the others are highly likely marginal contributors at the MLB level at any point in their careers. (Just getting there is a helluva accomplishment) 

Hopefully there are a few more fireworks to come in the form of one more reliever.

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The Twins will have to remove anoeehr body from the 40-man (Sanchez right away - nice knowing you?). 

Christian Encarnacian-Strand was a stud and be interesting to see how he pans out. Steer would've needed to be added to the 40-man in the off-season.

But you gotta do what you gotta do to WIN!

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I like all three of our prospects that we moved here, but CES is the only one where I get a little squidgy about letting him go. Steer is a nice player, but we're trading from depth there with Miranda looking strong. Hajjar might be a quality starter, but has a ways to go. CES is the guy that I thought might be a special hitter, though, and I hate to give that up.

That said, we needed more pitching, and Mahle isn't just a rental. He'll slot in nicely right now when we need him to right the ship and be good to go for next year's rotation too. It's the right move, i think. And like how they're not willing to let this season slip away. I like how they are adding in players that aren't just rentals.

Mahle. yeah, I like that guy.

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4 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

That's a lot to give up, but two years of Mahle softens the blow. All three prospects will likely be big leaguers, but if the Twins want to win this year, this is the kind of deal they have to make. 

The article says thru 2023, Seth.  So that is only the next two months, plus one year.  Is the article wrong?  Or were you including the next two months as a year?

Like many, this is turning out to be more than I expected.  Not certain I like losing both Steer and E-S, but so be it.  Now, one more relief rental for a lower minor league guy and they should be set for a nice run.

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1 minute ago, Five minute major said:

Wow.   We gave up way too much for him. I think Christian Encarnacion Strand is going to be a stud at the MLB level iin a few years.  But this team, which is going nowhere in the playoffs, was pressured into this by short sighted fans and media.   At least there is a couple years of control but I think we are going to rue the day we gave away CES.   I understand that you have to pay for a pitcher like this but this was too much.    

They should have just signed a good free agent starter in the off-season...

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I like Mahle, but yeah, certainly not painless.

Compared to the Berrios trade, you could probably say it's fairly similar.

Steer doesn't have the pedigree that Martin did at the time but he's rising fast and his season this year has not been far off what Miranda did last year at the same two levels.  There are a few mitigating factors that make me skeptical that Steer will transition quite as easily as Miranda is right now, but it still could be a trade where we see what we gave up rather quickly.

CES and Hajjar combined maybe don't rank as highly as Woods Richardson did either, but I think CES is a legit masher regardless of where he ends up.  I'm less sold on Hajjar since he's only in low A where stats very often look deceptively good for a 22 year old pitcher, but still a good arm nonetheless.

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Steep price, but if Twins are happy with Miranda (and they should be), those two are blocked at 3B.  I'm a little surprised they would trade two 3B prospects, although Steer might be more likely a 2B.  The Twins don't have a regular in the lineup over 30, so it was time to dump some prospects for SP.  I'm still perturbed they didn't just spend in FA for a starter, but this is a good option after the fact.  The additional year of control for Mahle helps.

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3 minutes ago, Physics Guy said:

Steep price, but if Twins are happy with Miranda (and they should be), those two are blocked at 3B.  I'm a little surprised they would trade two 3B prospects, although Steer might be more likely a 2B.  The Twins don't have a regular in the lineup over 30, so it was time to dump some prospects for SP.  I'm still perturbed they didn't just spend in FA for a starter, but this is a good option after the fact.  The additional year of control for Mahle helps.

CES is more likely a 1B prospect also despite playing mostly at 3B so far.  Doesn't really change the depth chart considerations.

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4 minutes ago, Physics Guy said:

Steep price, but if Twins are happy with Miranda (and they should be), those two are blocked at 3B.  I'm a little surprised they would trade two 3B prospects, although Steer might be more likely a 2B.  The Twins don't have a regular in the lineup over 30, so it was time to dump some prospects for SP.  I'm still perturbed they didn't just spend in FA for a starter, but this is a good option after the fact.  The additional year of control for Mahle helps.

My sentiments exactly.  The emergence of Miranda makes the whole deal possible.

 

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7 minutes ago, spanman2 said:

In no particular order beyond '22...you could have Mahle/Gray/Maeda/Ryan/Ober/Paddack in line for starting 5 competition...Archer/Bundy in the mix...assuming all are under contract...gotta give up talent which they did but we needed a solid starter which by all accounts he is.  

I forgot to add Winder...

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TD has Steer at #6 but with him being blocked by other players and needing to be added to the 40-man, he was a no-brainer as part of a package.  I was excited to see what Encarnacion-Strand would become but you have to give to get.  My preferred target was Castillo.  Then Mahle/Montas, with Mahle even b/c of Montas' shoulder issue.  Now...about an extension for Mahle.  Mahle, Gray, Maeda, Ryan is a pretty good start to 2023 rotation as well.

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