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.