Twins Linked to Reds’ Starter Tyler Mahle

Photo: Katie Stratman - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins trade deadline steam engine has sat docked and dormant up until recently. But the 2022 trade clock expires at 5 PM CDT, Tuesday so that’s starting to change. In fact, there’s been some coal tossed around in the engine room over the last day or two and the name coming out should get Twins fans relatively excited.

He’s starting pitcher, Tyler Mahle, of the Cincinnati Reds. According to Dan Hayes (The Athletic) that’s who the Twins like better, out of the two upper-echelon starters being shopped by the Reds. The other being Luis Castillo, who’s widely accepted as the best (and most expensive) starting pitcher currently on the MLB trade block.

The Twins asked about Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle this winter only to be denied by Cincinnati. There was an attempt to trade for Frankie Montas, too, but Oakland wouldn’t engage.Dan Hayes (The Athletic)

Twins’ Playoff Push Depends on Deadline

The Minnesota Twins should be desperate to fix their pitching staff. Starters and relievers, alike, have been unable to keep runs off the board for weeks. Now, losses are starting to pile up. Across baseball, even among MLB executive circles, doubts are being cast on the 2022 Twins.

Tyler Mahle, if you’ve already accepted that Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas are going to cost more in prospects than what the Twins are willing to pay, is one of the next best options currently available.

How Good is Tyler Mahle?

Mahle is a step down from Castillo. But he’s on an expiring contract, so he’ll cost a lot less to pry from the Reds. His willingness to throw high fastballs reminds me of Joe Ryan. So it’s unsurprising that the Twins are fond of him. I’m sure they’re itching to pair that with a better breaking pitch that he feels comfortable using more often. Much like what we’ve see with Ryan.

His advanced numbers look favorable (1.1 Win Probability Added), or unlucky, if you’re talking his .288 BAbip. Cincinnati’s notoriously hitter-friendly ballpark makes Mahle’s (2022) 4.48 ERA feel inflated. Sitting in the Reds’ losing environment can’t help either.

Mahle wouldn’t have been my first choice. Still, I’d expect him to easily slot into a top-3 rotation spot for the Twins. The baseball nerds love him. He’d certainly be my betting favorite to take the mound in game one of a 2022 AL Wildcard series. And the steam behind a Tyler Mahle to Twins trade is building.

More Mahle + Twins Steam

Just this afternoon, SKOR North released a new episode of Mackey and Judd, featuring Darren Wolfson, who provided more inside steam linking Mahle to the Twins. He also mentioned Pablo Lopez (Marlins), who would rank as an even higher-valued target than Mahle. The cost for Lopez, however, would mean losing a talented bat like Alex Kirilloff.

Of all the Starting Pitchers the Twins have checked in on, Tyler Mahle of the Cincinnati Reds would be my betting favorite.”Darren Wolfson (Mackey & Judd: SKOR North)

Carlos Correa has expressed to media that he is in the ear of front office decisionmakers. That tells me, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are probably feeling more pressure from the inside, to produce major pitching help at the deadline, than they are from the outside. On top of all that, the fanbase gets louder as each game goes by and the pitching struggles continue.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though. We’re closing in on 100 hours until the Minnesota Twins roster will be set for whatever playoff run they’re hoping to make. But if the front office, again, fails to add one front-end starting pitcher and two high-leverage relievers, then any attempts at a postseason run will likely fail too.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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