Minnesota Twins deal Ryne Harper to Washington for pitching prospect

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Ryne Harper #19 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates getting the save as the Twins defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the interleague game on May 28, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Brewers 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Ryne Harper #19 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates getting the save as the Twins defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the interleague game on May 28, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Brewers 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins took advantage to trade the reliever for 21-year-old pitching prospect Hunter McMahon on Wednesday.

The Minnesota Twins made a move to acquire a pitcher on Wednesday, but it wasn’t the big splash that some fans are still hoping for. Instead, the Twins made the best of a bad situation as they traded Ryne Harper to the Washington Nationals for pitching prospect Hunter McMahon.

Harper was a mainstay in the Twins bullpen last season, making his long-awaited MLB debut and posting solid numbers going 4-2 with a 3.81 ERA. However, the 30-year-old became expendable with the Twins adding Tyler Clippard and rookie phenom Brusdar Graterol to the mix, and the Twins designated him for assignment last week to clear a roster spot for Josh Donaldson.

In exchange for Harper, the Twins get McMahon, who performed well in his first half-season of baseball after being selected by the Nationals in the ninth round in last summer’s MLB Draft. The right-hander didn’t post eye-popping stats at Texas State but impressed once he got into the Nationals organization, throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings in two appearances in the Gulf Coast League.

McMahon doubled down when promoted to Low-A Auburn, making seven appearances allowing one earned run in eight innings and recording an eye-popping 15.8 K/9 rate.

The 21-year-old isn’t a top prospect in the Nationals organization, but he represents the profile of prospects the Twins target in these types of deals. For example, the Twins pulled a similar deal in 2018 when they sent Eduardo Escobar to Arizona for a little known A-ball prospect named Jhoan Duran, who is now a Top 100 prospect per Baseball America.

Next. 5 questions for the Twins entering spring training. dark

It will take some time before we know what the Twins have in McMahon, but the risk is worth taking for a player they were going to lose anyway.

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