The Minnesota Twins are looking more and more like a playoff team, thanks in large part to a weak division and a soft schedule in the month of May. The lineup has kept going through injuries, and the bullpen and rotation have also moved through challenges.
Now that the team is getting healthier, it’s time to consider some early season trade options for some of the team’s biggest needs, namely, starting pitching. As good as Joe Ryan has been, Bailey Ober and Sonny Gray have been injured, Chris Paddack is likely done for the year, and Dylan Bundy, Josh Winder, and Chris Archer have been up and down. The team needs a starter.
When looking for a trade partner, we have to look at teams that have committed to tanking and have strong pitching available, so why not reach back out to the team that they’ve already made a deal with this year: the Cincinnati Reds. While they can’t afford Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle is a good option for the Twins to go after.
What could a potential Tyler Mahle trade look like for the Minnesota Twins?
At first glance, Mahle is a confusing trade target. Mahle currently has a 2-4 record, a 5.89 ERA, and a 1.473 WHIP. Why would the Twins want to add a guy like that? Well, there are multiple reasons.
For starters, Mahle is a very reliable pitcher. He leads all of baseball in starts made over the past two years with 41, and he’s pitched 216.2 innings over that span (5.1 IP per start). The Twins’ young rotation could use that stability, and he has the rest of 2022 and 2023 under team control.
His underlying numbers suggest he’s due for a positive regression. He currently boasts a 3.45 FIP, a 9.8 K/9 rate, and his fastball is still moving well. In addition, he’s been very, very good over the last two years:
- 43 G (42 GS), 15-8 W-L, 3.72 ERA (3.82 FIP), 270-85 K-BB, 1.217 WHIP
Now the Twins have a really good clubhouse environment, and they’ve been trying to continue building their team with that in mind, but if they see Mahle as good fit, a deal could get done. Here are three trades the Twins could try and make.