Yeah, this one is gonna hurt and honestly, it isn't anyone's fault per se and only looks rough with the benefit of hindsight.
The Twins thought they were getting a reliable innings eater in Mahle at the deadline when they sent prospects Spencer Steer, Steve Hajjar, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the Reds to acquire him.
Unfortunately, that is decidedly not what happened as it was announced recently that Mahle was going to have to undergo Tommy John surgery which effectively ends his time with the Twins unless they re-sign him out of free agency. Between his post-trade appearances in 2022 as well as his 2023 up until the injury, Mahle made just nine starts for a total of 42 innings in a Twins uniform.
One of the worst pills to swallow is that the trade cost them Steer who was pretty highly regarded but hasn't lit the world on fire and, more importantly, Encarnacion-Strand who has gone Super Saiyan in his time in the Reds' organization. In 16 games at Triple-A in 2023, he has slashed .353/.378/.718 with eight homers including some absolute tanks.
Given the Twins' offensive struggles this year, it sure would be nice to have a bat like that around to provide some help for the big league roster.
Look, injuries happen and it stinks. The Twins gambled that Mahle could provide some stability in the rotation and unfortunately, the laws of physics and pitching do not always get along. You can't necessarily blame the Twins for making the move, but now the guy they spent some talented trade capital on is done for the year and probably done playing for the team altogether and we are left wondering what might have been.