Twins lose Tyler Mahle in free agency, officially ending a terrible trade saga

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

It wasn’t as though we needed any further evidence, but the Tyler Mahle trade officially and unequivocally busted for the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

Twins fans know all too well how things went, with Minnesota trading a few top prospects to Cincinnati a year ago which ended up being more of a donation to the Reds farm system than an actual trade.

Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand have since become top young players for the Reds while Mahle barely pitched for the Twins before Tommy John effectively ended his time with the team. Mahle signing a two-year, $22 million deal with the Texas Rangers officially ended it and closed the loop on one of the most disappointing trades in recent memory.

It wasn’t solely the Mahle deal, but the bad luck Minnesota had at the trade deadline last year played somewhat of a factor in the team not making any moves at the deadline last August.

Tyler Mahler signs with Texas, wrapping up one of the worst Twins trades ever

An extra twist of the knife is how affordable Mahle’s deal with Texas ended up being. The Rangers get a reclamation project on a team-friendly deal and could end up with another top pitcher in a year when he returns.

Mahle is the third starting pitcher the Twins have lost this winter, with both Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda leaving in free agency. For what it’s worth, if we’re talking about trades panning out then the deals for Gray and Maeda stand out as successes int he face fo the Mahle failure.

It still doesn’t make things any easier to stomach.

Both of the Twins big deadline trades last year have crashed out hard, with Jorge Lopez getting traded less than a calendar year after he was originally acquired by Minnesota. Mahle had some upside, but it’s going to be the Rangers who potentially cash in rather than the Twins.

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