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?