2:50 pm: Teams have agreed to a transaction that sends Mahle to the Twins, tweet Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Ted Schwerzler of TwinsDaily reports that Minnesota is sending an internal prospect Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand for the Red Devils, as well as the left Steven Hajjar (Twitter link).
2:41 pm: The Reds and Twins are “in serious discussion” about a sendable transaction Tyler Mahle from Cincinnati to Minnesota, reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic (via Twitter). Minnesota has been interested in Mahle since back in the season, when they also picked another Reds starter, Sonny Grayin a swap sent to 2021 first round Chase Petty for the Red Devils.
Minnesota has focused on upgrading its pitching staff, both in rotation and in the cowshed. Landed Orioles closer Jorge Lopez in a trade with Baltimore earlier this morning, it seems their focus has turned to Mahle, who will reunite with Gray and give the Twins a head start they can control for the rest of the season. current season and for the 2023 campaign.
Mahle, 28 next month, has had a lousy start to the 2022 season and has played quite well over the past two months. He had a brief stint on the shoulder strain injury list in mid-July, but Mahle has been out for minimal time and has made a fruitful pair of starts since returning. Dating back to May 29, he achieved a 2.83 ERA with a 27.9% hit rate and a 7% walk rate in 57 1/3 rounds.
Since breaking through in the 2020 season, Mahle has thrown down a 3.93 ERA with a hit rate of 27.4% and a walk rate of 8.9% in the 332 major innings of the league. He averages 94 mph with his heater on the go and relies heavily on splitters and sliders both of which are sometimes rated as above-average pitches – he’s been enjoying splits lately ( especially as a means of neutralizing deviation).
Beyond Mahle’s solid ERA, it’s easy to be intrigued by how he was able to break through when finally breaking free from the Homer confines of Cincinnati’s great American Football Park. He has worked with an ugly 4.83 ERA and delivered an average of 1.69 home runs per nine innings over the past three seasons when pitching at home but boasts an excellent 2.93 ERA and only hit 0.52 HR/9 on the road. He also has above-average revs on his heater and ranks in the 76th percentile or higher, according to Statcast, in each of the following metrics: expected ERA, expected batting average, expected slip rate and expected wOBA.
Mahle will give the Twins some much-needed help in the rotation, starting the season on a surprisingly strong note but falling flat by the end. Members rotate on Opening Day Bailey Ober and Chris Paddack both are on the injury list – Paddack lost the season due to Tommy John surgery – and 2020 runner-up Cy Young Kenta Maeda is recovering from his own TJ procedure, performed at the end of last season.
The Twins relied heavily on Mahle’s old companion Grey, the rookie Joe Ryan and veterans Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy so far in 2022. Gray and Ryan are both going strong – a disastrous start for Ryan in his last appearance – and Bundy could still serve, if no sign, outside of a pair his own disastrous start in late April and early May. However, Archer has been limited to four or five appearances throughout the season and has begun to wane in recent weeks, and the Twins’ overall rotation combination simply sank in July. The twin starters delivered a monstrous 6.49 ERA in July – third-worst among all major league teams.
Mahle is earning $5.2 million this season, making him more than likely to pay even when calculating in his final referee salary increase for next season (or, like Dan Hayes). by The Athletic suggestions, in a potential long-term extension). Even if not renewed, he could be put on the payroll in 2023 along with Gray, Ryan and Maeda (if health allows). It’s a much stronger foundation than the current season.
More will come.