Right before the 2022 season started, the Minnesota Twins decided to trade their All-Star closer Taylor Rogers to the San Diego Padres, in a package deal that also sent out Brent Rooker and netted the Twins Emilio Pagán, Chris Paddack and a player to be named later (pitching prospect Brayan Medina).
It is somewhat poetic that as the Twins rolled into town for a three-game series with the Padres, San Diego decided to go with a closer by committee approach, as Rogers had struggled mightily after a decent start to his San Diego career, and a day after the series ended, he was shipped off as part of a package trade for Josh Hader.
Rogers’ career with the Padres was short-lived, and with a series between the Twins and Padres just behind us, it is as good a time as any to look back at that trade and see what conclusions can be drawn almost two-thirds of the season through.
We take a look back at the Minnesota Twins’ trade to send Taylor Rogers to the Padres.
This pitching staff needed depth heading into the year and still does. Trading Rogers in a lot of ways was about addressing that. Pagán could come in as a veteran presence, and if all went well, take over the closer role, allowing the team to be more flexible with Jhoan Duran, and not need to rely on him as the ninth inning man on a regular basis.
The big piece was Chris Paddack, who was coming off a tough stretch but had shown a lot of promise as a young starter with the Padres, he’d slot right in as a member of the Twins’ rotation. Paddack flashed through five starts and gave glimpses of his upside, but due to a tear in his right elbow had to get Tommy John surgery, and will be out for a while.
Under control through the 2024 season, Paddack will have some time to regain his form and pay dividends to a Twins organization that traded its All-Star closer for him. Pagán has struggled in the Twins’ pen which has had to rely more and more on Jhoan Duran and is still in need of depth.
It’s been a tough look for the Twins (outside of Medina, who looks like a Top 30 prospect), but Rogers hasn’t made it worse for Minnesota is that Rogers was struggling as well with 16 earned runs in 19.1 IP since the start of June.
A couple of days after demoting Rogers from closer duties over his continued struggles since the beginning of June, the Padres decided to cut bait and included Rogers as part of the package the team sent to Milwaukee for Josh Hader.
Rogers is enduring a brutal run, but Milwaukee may be the best place to fix him right now, and one can hardly say that he was merely a throw-in this deal, which makes it hard to state that the Padres took nothing out of his acquisition.
Overall, with the Medina still far away from the big leagues, it’s going to come down to Chris Paddack finding his way as a Twin before the end of the 2024 season, to truly determine if the deal was a successful one for the Twins.
Rogers could regain a lot of his value with a quick start to his Brewers’ career, and it’s highly doubtful that Pagán can be the reliever the Minnesota Twins wanted him to be, at the time of his acquisition.