Twins Working to Acquire Chris Paddack From Padres

Photo: Matt Thomas – San Diego Padres via Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins are reportedly in the process of acquiring another starting pitcher, this time via trade with the San Diego Padres. Chris Paddack is a tall 26-year-old right-handed starter who relies heavily on his mid-90’s fastball and mid-80’s changeup. He also has a curveball that he uses less and a cutter he barely uses at all.

Chris Paddack burst onto the San Diego scene in 2019, as a 23-year-old rookie. He hurled 140 innings, posting a 3.33 ERA, 126 ERA+, 0.981 WHIP and 9.8 K/9. Back then, he looked like one of the best young pitchers in baseball. But Paddack slammed back to reality in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and fell even further in 2021.

  • 2020: 59 IP | 4.73 ERA | 89 ERA+ | 1.220 WHIP
  • 2021: 108 IP | 5.07 ERA | 77 ERA+ | 1.265 WHIP

It’s unlikely Rosenthal tweets something like this if the deal isn’t all but complete. The bigger questions surround what the Minnesota Twins are giving up, in exchange for Chris Paddack. Given how poorly he’s thrown over the last two seasons, I can’t imagine his price would be that high. Seems like a great buy-low acquisition for Falvine.

UPDATE (4/6 -7:30 PM):

It looks like Taylor Rogers is the Padres’ target, in return for Paddack. Rogers has just one year of arbitration remaining but he’s a huge piece of the Twins’ bullpen. You’d have to think the Twins want more back in return than just Paddack.

UPDATE (4/7 – 9:00 AM):

On Thursday morning, the trade between the Padres and Twins became more official and details rolled in via baseball insiders across the country. When the dust settled, San Diego had agreed to send (SP) Chris Paddack and (RHRP) Emilio Pagan East to Minnesota in exchange for Taylor Rogers and (OF) Brent Rooker heading West.

There may be some money and “player(s) to be named later” swapped, as well. Pagan is is an established 30-year-old relief pitcher and should be a valuable asset to the bullpen. But much like Paddack, Emilio Pagan was dominant in 2019 (70 IP, 2.31 ERA, 190 ERA+, 0.829 WHIP) but struggled in the last two seasons, with ERAs over 4.50 and ERA+ well below 100 (average). Brent Rooker is an older (27) knock-off version of Trevor Larnach so the Twins probably celebrated when the Padres agreed to take him as the final piece to this trade puzzle.

Paddack has three years of team control. Pagan has two years remaining. Both are buy-low, high upside acquisitions. Taylor Rogers is due to be a free agent after the 2022 season and would have been traded at last year’s deadline, had he not been hurt. The trade makes sense, even if the timing doesn’t. That can be partly blamed on the lockout, partly on the Twins’ refusal to make any moves in free agency before the lockout began.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan