The Minnesota Twins addressed their rotation and their bench on Monday in a deal with the Atlanta Braves.
The Minnesota Twins made their first deal of the trade deadline season on Monday, finally completing a deal that they originally began with the Atlanta Braves last week Thursday evening. After bumps that led to the trade on Thursday to fall apart, the Braves and Twins continued to talk, leading to today’s deal.
So what did the Twins get?
Jaime Garcia, LHP
While there was another player and cash acquired in the deal, the main player the Minnesota Twins targeted here was left-handed starter Jaime Garcia. Garcia has an extensive medical and injury history, having made a positive return from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Tommy John Surgery, while also facing issues with his shoulder and neck at times as well.
When he’s been healthy, Garcia has been very good until 2016. After the struggles in 2016, Garcia chose to alter his pitch mix, using his curve more and using more of a true slider than his cutter that he had previously used. He’s also using his fastball more than he has previously overall, but especially his four-seam fastball, which he’s getting excellent results overall with.
Garcia went through a rough stretch of outings from June 17th through July 5th that took his ERA from 3.16 to 4.55, and he’s been chipping it down again since to the 4.30 that it sits at currently. He’s a guy who has thrown very well now in back to back games against two of the best offenses in baseball in Arizona and Los Angeles, which should give plenty of hope to Twins fans in his ability to handle the 3rd/4th spot in the rotation very well!
Recker is 33 years old and has been bouncing around the minors and majors for a dozen years at this point after being drafted originally by the Oakland Athletics in 2005. Recker is a quality receiver with some legit pop in his bat off the bench, but he’s probably best suited as a third catcher.
I will say this – I have it on good authority that on the 20-80 scale, Recker’s posterior would grade out as an 80. The ladies of Atlanta were disappointed when he was sent down to the minors this year, and the ladies of the Twin Cities may be hoping he can supplant Chris Gimenez as the favorite behind Jason Castro for the Twins.
What did the Minnesota Twins give up?
Huascar Ynoa, RHP
Ynoa was signed by the Twins for $800K in 2014 out of the Dominican Republic. Huascar’s brother Michael was well known by scouts due to being the 16 year-old that broke the record for a pitcher for a bonus, receiving $4.25M from the Oakland Athletics in 2008, more than even Miguel Sano got that season.
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Huascar isn’t the 6’7″ wide-framed pitcher that his brother was, but he has his own blend of unique attributes that makes him a highly desirable pitcher. Huascar works with multiple variations of his fastball, working with a two-seam, four-seam, split-finger, and cut fastball. His curve ball is his primary breaking pitch, but his best off speed offering is his change, which gets excellent arm deception and can be manipulated to mimic the movement of either his two-seam or four-seam fastball.
Ynoa has a high ceiling, but he is still in Elizabethton, and his long legs and long arms make consistently repeating his delivery a challenge, which makes him a risk, but one with enough ceiling to entice the Braves to make this deal.
The Twins also received a reported $4.8M in cash from the Braves to cover the $4.6M remaining on Garcia’s contract and $200K of the $300K left on Recker’s contract. Twins manager Paul Molitor announced that he intended to start Garcia on Friday night in Oakland.
Editor note: MLB.com is reporting that the finances are completely opposite of the ESPN.com report, with the Twins receiving only $100K total.