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The trade deadline really heated up for the Twins, and it was exciting to say the least. The front office did not hold back getting pitching that the team so desperately needed. All season fans have been clamoring and hoping that Tyler Mahle would be available and on Tuesday that’s exactly what he was, giving the Twins an opportunity to make a trade. 

Jon Heyman was the first to report that the Twins had acquired RHP Tyler Mahle from Cincinnati for three top prospects, infielders Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and starting pitching prospect Steve Hajjar.

The 6’3 210 pound right-handed pitcher has been a solid starter with the Cincinnati Reds. In his most-recent game, three days ago, he recorded his fifth win of the season. He pitched six innings and had seven strikeouts, just two days after coming off the IL. While he had to go on the IL due to shoulder issues right before the All-Star break. He made two starts before the deadline and his medicals must have been to the Twins' liking. 

Mahle is 27 years old and is under team control through the 2023 season. In 2022, he's 5-7 with a 4.40 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 1.25 WHIP and 114 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings. He was 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 180 innings last season and has resembled a mid-rotation workhorse for the last three seasons or so.

Mahle was the lone starting pitcher added by the Twins at the deadline. They also added two, late-inning relievers at the deadline. 

What did the Twins give up?
The Twins gave up three top-20 prospects to make the trade happen. Spencer Steer, a St. Paul favorite, will be a great asset to the Reds and is likely to be called up sooner than he would if he stayed with the Twins. He hit .269/.361/.528 with 20 home runs and just a 17.0 K% in 388 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A. He is a very nice prospect, but as a third baseman. he is currently blocked by the likes of Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela and others.  Steer has seen time at third base, second base, and even shortstop this season. 

Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a huge bat on the Wichita team. He was named the Midwest League's Hitter of the Month in two of the three months he was with Cedar Rapids. Overall, he hit .302/.374/.612 with 25 home runs and a 33.1 percent hard-hit rate in 390 plate appearances between High-A and Double-A. He is only 22-years-old and has seen time at third base, first base and designated hitter this season. The 2021 fifth-round draft pick's best position defensively is DH.

Steven Hajjar is the only pitcher sent in the package to Cincinnati. Hajjar is a young left-handed pitcher. He was the Twins second-round draft pick in 2021 out of Michigan. He has spent this season with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels where he has posted some outstanding numbers. Through 12 starts, he has logged a 2.47 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 71:22 K:BB in 43 2/3 innings. He has been limited by a couple of stints in the Injured List this year. His potential to move up in the Reds system looks good and could potentially start at High-A. 

The Twins front office has been making stealthy deadline-day moves and keeping fans on their toes. Do you think the Twins have made the right moves? What do you think of giving up three top-25 prospects for Mahle? 

 


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I agree.  Great trade.  They gave up some talent, but Mahle is only 27 years old and will probably be a solid part of the Twins Starting Rotation for the next 5-6 years.  The Twins were going to have some tough 40-man decisions to make in this off season.  Now, with Mahle and Lopez, they have a couple guys who will certainly be important cogs for the rest of this season and hopefully, several more.  Other players in the system will emerge.  They didn't give up:  Kirilloff, Lewis, Miranda, Larnach, Canterino, Balazovic, SWR, Winder, Martin (you get the point).    

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30 minutes ago, TopGunn#22 said:

I agree.  Great trade.  They gave up some talent, but Mahle is only 27 years old and will probably be a solid part of the Twins Starting Rotation for the next 5-6 years.  The Twins were going to have some tough 40-man decisions to make in this off season.  Now, with Mahle and Lopez, they have a couple guys who will certainly be important cogs for the rest of this season and hopefully, several more.  Other players in the system will emerge.  They didn't give up:  Kirilloff, Lewis, Miranda, Larnach, Canterino, Balazovic, SWR, Winder, Martin (you get the point).    

I have to agree as well.  The Twins will also probably be getting Maeda back at some point before the end of the season.  While he will not be a starter this year, he could certainly provide some depth in the bullpen and play a role in 2023.  Imagine what this season would look like if Maeda was pitching like he did last year every fifth game.

2023: Mahle, Maeda, Ryan (with a solid year under his belt), Gray, and take your pick from the rest could be the rotation, in no particular order.  If the FO really wanted to make a splash, they could go after a top tier free agent starter and round things out nicely.

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6 minutes ago, minman1982 said:

I have to agree as well.  The Twins will also probably be getting Maeda back at some point before the end of the season.  While he will not be a starter this year, he could certainly provide some depth in the bullpen and play a role in 2023.  Imagine what this season would look like if Maeda was pitching like he did last year every fifth game.

2023: Mahle, Maeda, Ryan (with a solid year under his belt), Gray, and take your pick from the rest could be the rotation, in no particular order.  If the FO really wanted to make a splash, they could go after a top tier free agent starter and round things out nicely.

I would hate to be picking from this mess.  Denying those club options requires pay out.)  

2023 Salary

Gray ($12 M - Club Option)

Bundy ($11M - Club Option)

Archer ($10M - Mutual Option)

Mahle (Arb-3 ~$10M)

Maeda ($3M + Bonuses for IP)

Paddack (Arb-3)

Dobnak ($1.5M)

Ryan (Pre-Arb)

Ober (Pre-Arb)

Winder (Pre-Arb)

Smeltzer seems to be an after thought.

Balazovic, SWR, Henriquez, Sands, Varland, Strotman, Enlow

I'm not sure how many 40 man roster spots are required to go to the "prospects" at the bottom ... but it sounds like an offseason trade will be necessary or many of these individuals have to go to the pen.   It isn't like management is going to allow any of them to face a 19th batter of the game so maybe everyone should double up and tag pitch.  

 

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Getting a very good starting pitcher and giving up only one pitching prospect, not a top one really, and filling out the offer with a couple of good bats who don't handle up-the-middle defensive positions and likely would be blocked for a while at their respective spots, is the kind of package I hoped for.

I wish a similar reliance on excess corner bats would have nabbed us either of the relievers, but oh well, pitching talks and bs walks.

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1 hour ago, nicksaviking said:

I call BS. Brock first reported the trade, he just let Heyman get the credit.

Because it is sooooooo important who put it to writing first? I, for one, could care less who found out first. Somebody told them and knew before they did! It matters not. Everyone knows soon enough.

It is the race to be first that so often results in wrong or false info. 
 

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I like three of the trades based on value, but I probably would have said no to giving up Steer, Encarnacion-Strand, and Hajjar for 8 months of Mahle whom it says just came off the IL. 
The Twins aren’t short of starters. They’re short of elite starters and healthy starters. Not certain Mahle will be either of those. 

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3 minutes ago, Morneau for Gov said:

I like three of the trades based on value, but I probably would have said no to giving up Steer, Encarnacion-Strand, and Hajjar for 8 months of Mahle whom it says just came off the IL. 
The Twins aren’t short of starters. They’re short of elite starters and healthy starters. Not certain Mahle will be either of those. 

The Twins aren't short of starters?

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After years of being a prospect hoarder, I've slowly turned the page, and am fine with the day's proceedings.

Seems like the wheat grows up from nothing: neither Arraez nor Miranda were overhyped as prospects via the rankings, and they have become 2 of the best Twins at 25 and 24. 

Losing Povich and Hajjar kinda hurts. Encarnacion-Strand and Steer too.

We might have lost Viola and Gaetti today, or Serafini and Moses.

Whatever.

 

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9 hours ago, andy4butler said:

I would hate to be picking from this mess.  Denying those club options requires pay out.)  

2023 Salary

Gray ($12 M - Club Option)

Bundy ($11M - Club Option)

Archer ($10M - Mutual Option)

Mahle (Arb-3 ~$10M)

Maeda ($3M + Bonuses for IP)

Paddack (Arb-3)

Dobnak ($1.5M)

Ryan (Pre-Arb)

Ober (Pre-Arb)

Winder (Pre-Arb)

Smeltzer seems to be an after thought.

Balazovic, SWR, Henriquez, Sands, Varland, Strotman, Enlow

I'm not sure how many 40 man roster spots are required to go to the "prospects" at the bottom ... but it sounds like an offseason trade will be necessary or many of these individuals have to go to the pen.   It isn't like management is going to allow any of them to face a 19th batter of the game so maybe everyone should double up and tag pitch.  

 

It's not that big of a mess.  Bundy and Archer's options will be declined.  The starting 5 will be Gray / Mahle / Ryan/ Winder and either Maeda or Ober.  Smeltzer / Dobnak and eventually Paddack will be inexpensive depth.  I suspect 1 or 2 of them will be multi-inning RPs.

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For the Twins to have any chance down the stretch this was pretty much an absolute need.  Steer was slightly blocked and CES has not shown much on defensive side of the ball. Hajjar has one elite pitch and the rest is to be determined.so really hard to say what was given up there just yet.  All three prospects have really good potential to be good to very good MLB players.  I am a prospect lover and hate losing them but giving up on the division in a year where the Twins have positioned themselves into 1st place doesn't make sense either.  They needed to do something and Mahle was in the top tier of pitchers to get at the deadline and at least we didn't have to pay the price Seattle did.

I followed Steer as he moved up each level and his balanced approach at the plate along with his power and good defense will be missed.  I think he will be a very solid MLB player.  With Polanco, Arraez, Gordon, and Miranda already in the way and with Jullien, Severino and his likely replacement the newly drafted Lee behind him, it was OK to let him go for something we needed.

I hated the CES pick in the draft and thought it was a mistake pick.  After watching him, I have absolutely loved what this guy brings to the plate.  Yes he still needs some work on the K rate but he barrels a lot of balls and has never had an OPS lower than 900 in the system.  He moved up two levels this year and technically could be moved up a third as he has had no trouble adjusting to AA.  I think he is a star in the making at DH or 1st base.  A  Nelson Cruz type bat that will be good for a long time.  I think it is tough to lose a bat like that for a year and a half of Mahle but the Twins needed to do something and credit the Reds for finding a top 100 bat before the pundits see it.  In the end I think the Twins will regret losing him but for the right here, right now to get what they needed it had to be done.

Hajjar hasn't pitched much this year and has been injured twice already. That change is elite and if he can stay healthy I believe he is a starter but with arm troubles this early in there seems like a fair bit a of reliever risk although with that change he could be an elite lefty reliever.

I always hate losing prospects but there are others who can cover for losing some of the picks.  We needed another starter for this year and next year.  Let's hope a pitching pipeline develops in our lifetime and we don't have to make trades like this.

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10 hours ago, Morneau for Gov said:

I like three of the trades based on value, but I probably would have said no to giving up Steer, Encarnacion-Strand, and Hajjar for 8 months of Mahle whom it says just came off the IL. 
The Twins aren’t short of starters. They’re short of elite starters and healthy starters. Not certain Mahle will be either of those. 

Mahle's numbers when he doesn't pitch in Cincinnati are really good. He's a better pitcher than you think.

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11 hours ago, ashbury said:

Getting a very good starting pitcher and giving up only one pitching prospect, not a top one really, and filling out the offer with a couple of good bats who don't handle up-the-middle defensive positions and likely would be blocked for a while at their respective spots, is the kind of package I hoped for.

I wish a similar reliance on excess corner bats would have nabbed us either of the relievers, but oh well, pitching talks and bs walks.

Concur. I think this is a good deal. This team now has three legit starters for this year and next. Finding another in the group they have will be huge. 

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5 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Concur. I think this is a good deal. This team now has three legit starters for this year and next. Finding another in the group they have will be huge. 

They should be in a good spot to make a sound evaluation. I have to think they'll have a pretty good read on the Maeda, Ober and Winder injuries well before free agency kicks into high gear.

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41 minutes ago, Dman said:

For the Twins to have any chance down the stretch this was pretty much an absolute need.  Steer was slightly blocked and CES has not shown much on defensive side of the ball. Hajjar has one elite pitch and the rest is to be determined.so really hard to say what was given up there just yet.  All three prospects have really good potential to be good to very good MLB players.  I am a prospect lover and hate losing them but giving up on the division in a year where the Twins have positioned themselves into 1st place doesn't make sense either.  They needed to do something and Mahle was in the top tier of pitchers to get at the deadline and at least we didn't have to pay the price Seattle did.

I followed Steer as he moved up each level and his balanced approach at the plate along with his power and good defense will be missed.  I think he will be a very solid MLB player.  With Polanco, Arraez, Gordon, and Miranda already in the way and with Jullien, Severino and his likely replacement the newly drafted Lee behind him, it was OK to let him go for something we needed.

I hated the CES pick in the draft and thought it was mistake pick.  After watching him, I have absolutely loved what this guy brings to the plate.  Yes he still needs some work on the K rate but he barrels a lot of balls and has never had an OPS lower than 900 in the system.  He moved up two levels this year and technically could be moved up a third as he has had no trouble adjusting to AA.  I think he is a star in the making at DH or 1st base.  A  Nelson Cruz type bat that will be good for a long time.  I think it is tough to lose a bat like that for a year and a half of Mahle but the Twins needed to do something and credit the Reds for finding a top 100 bat before the pundits see it.  In the end I think the Twins will regret losing him but for the right here, right now to get what they needed it had to be done.

Hajjar hasn't pitched much this year and has been injured twice already. That change is elite and if he can stay healthy I believe he is a starter but with arm troubles this early in there seems like a fair bit a of reliever risk although with that change he could be an elite lefty reliever.

I always hate losing prospects but there are others who can cover for losing some of the picks.  We needed another starter for this year and next year.  Let's hope a pitching pipeline develops in our lifetime and we don't have to make trades like this.

Cleveland's vaunted pitching pipeline the Twins are trying to emulate was largely constructed through trades. 

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1 minute ago, nicksaviking said:

They should be in a good spot to make a sound evaluation. I have to think they'll have a pretty good read on the Maeda, Ober and Winder injuries well before free agency kicks into high gear.

I'm just hoping one of them is healthy next year for the year, and three other two contribute at this point. More than that would be great, of course.

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43 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

Mahle's numbers when he doesn't pitch in Cincinnati are really good. He's a better pitcher than you think.

I was going  write the same thing about mahler's ineffectiveness  in Cincinnati  , away from Cincinnati he has good numbers and let's hope that he does well with the twins ....

 

THE PRICE SURE HAS GONE UP ....

we trade berrios to Toronto for 2 prospects last year ....

This year we trade  3 prospects  for mahler ....

The price is steep but I feel confident that mahler will do well as a twin  ...

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2 minutes ago, Blyleven2011 said:

I was going  write the same thing about mahler's ineffectiveness  in Cincinnati  , away from Cincinnati he has good numbers and let's hope that he does well with the twins ....

 

THE PRICE SURE HAS GONE UP ....

we trade berrios to Toronto for 2 prospects last year ....

This year we trade  3 prospects  for mahler ....

The price is steep but I feel confident that mahler will do well as a twin  ...

Last year Toronto gave up two top 100 prospects for Berrios, and Martin was in the top 50 range.

Spencer Steer was just starting to crack a few lists this year and the other two players weren't considered top prospects. The Twins gave up more players, but as far as the industry insiders go, Toronto probably paid a higher price.

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Funny thing about last year's draft. While I was happy with Povich's and Hajjar's production so far, last season during the draft I wasn't exactly thrilled. TWO Big 10 pitchers in the first in the first four picks?!?! Big 10 pitchers hardly EVER succeed in the majors as starters. Alex Wimmers, Tyler Jay, Aaron Slegers. Learn your lesson already Twins!

Who was the last decent starter the Big 10 produced, Jim Abbott (sorry Glen Perkins, get well soon Max Meyer)?

Eagerly awaiting examples to show I was wrong.

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Add me to the list of all who hated to see E-S go.  On the other hand, I don't know where he would break into a future Twins lineup with Miranda, Arraez and hopefully, Kirilloff as well as a healthy Lewis blocking his path.  Now lets keep Mahle healthy and pitching like he has away from Cincy.  

The other good news is what was reported in this morning's Strib.  Apparently Correa's comment was that he was happy Miranda wasn't included in any trades, apparently he told Rocco that Jose should be "untouchable."  Guess those Puerto Rico guys want to stick together.  Hopefully, Correa still feels that come November.

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