The Twins never intended to continue playing Roster Roulette until the first pitch of the season, and never planned to join 2022 with 13 players – nearly half of their provisionally expanded roster – who had never before worn the Twins uniform, never planning to just cash in on their own. . Experienced closer for additional starting pitcher.
But then the phone rang.
“This has come together really fast in the last 24 hours,” Derek Valvey said after finishing his fourth major trade in less than four weeks, sparked, as the Twins’ head of baseball operations admitted, by Sudden Padres General Manager AJ Preller to get closer.
Valvey is obligated to take on Taylor Rogers, who is throwing away all-stars — and $6.6 million in cash to cover most of his $7.3 million salary — as well as potential flounder Brent Rucker, their first-round pick in the 2017 draft, to San Diego. In return, the twins will get a rookie pitcher they’ve always wanted, right-hand Chris Baddack, veteran middle-ranker Emilio Pagan, and junior Padres member of the squad that they’ll pick later this month.
“Ultimately, I feel this puts us better for now, but also for the future,” Valvey said.
Partly because Rogers and Rucker may not have much of a future left in Minnesota. Rucker, 27, with just 65 games of Major League experience, has found himself largely obscured by a twin surplus of young footballers and field prospects, and his own defensive shortcomings.
Rogers, one of the most popular players among his teammates and the most reliable loyalist to the Twins in the past four seasons, is six months away from free agency at age (32 next season) and price (over $10 million a year if he has a solid 2021 season, in a deal multi-year) that likely gave Valve skepticism about keeping him in Minnesota.
Instead, he added in Paddack a 26-year-old thrower who had a hit in the rookie season in 2019, then struggled to follow behind a deep spin for Padres. Falvey said Paddack’s ERA went from 3.33 as a rookie to 4.73 in the abridged 2020 season to 5.07 last year, but the twins believe he can reclaim the form that has piqued their interest since 2017. He’s also three years out of free agency.
After the Padres traded with Auckland’s Sean Manaya on Monday, she was finally willing to listen to the twins’ long-standing queries about Badack, especially as Valvey was willing to discuss his best.
“He did a few things that, when you look under the surface, that was really positive,” Valvey said, although his home runs has been a problem, and Paddack’s hit rate has gone down each season as well. “We’ve heard enough good things about makeup and the opportunity to add a guy…which we see has real positive potential was something we’ve been wanting to pursue for a while.”
Paddack adds depth to a rotation of twins entering the season by relying on veterans Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy to overcome recent difficulties, and sophomores Joe Ryan and Billy Opper relying on strong, albeit partial, 2021 seasons. He’s the sixth member of the Twins’ starting cycle, with these The four and veteran Sonny Gray, but only temporarily; Valvee said the twins would go to a six-man rotation during the season’s first home run, then sort the roles from there.
Bagan is a 30-year-old right-winger who has served four teams in five seasons, saving 20 games for a 96-game winning streak in 2019, but also wasting nine saves. His ERA swelled to a record 4.83 in San Diego last season, in large part due to a huge jump in his home run average to 2.3 per nine runs.
“His 2019 season was probably one of the best in baseball among the players he did [70 innings], said Valvey. We have some ideas on the pitch mix and where he’s attacking, some things we think he can continue to improve. …we are excited about his fitness.”
Valvey said both players were recommended by former Padres coach Jace Tengler, Rocco Baldele’s current coach.
So who will inherit the role of Rogers when the twins are closer? It’s too early to say, though, as Valvey noted that veterans like Tyler Duffy, Joe Smith and the Pagan character will have the most late-stroke chances while younger shooters like Jorge Alcala and Juan Duran learn the craft more slowly.
“My feeling is, [Baldelli will consider] Matches are on the back end of the game,” Valvey said, “the usage depends on who’s available, who’s new, who has some of these experiences.” “
Valvey said the loss of Rogers’ experience wasn’t the hardest factor to consider in this deal. Rogers’ loss was.
Valvey said of Rogers, a member of the All-Star team last July. “I would say this guy was as tough as anyone I’ve seen or experienced. He’s a professional pro, all the way through…I will always be a huge fan of Taylor Rogers.”
The Rogers thanked the twins for his contract with the organization — he was drafted from Kentucky in 2012 — but he’s excited, Valvey said, to join the same division as his identical twin Tyler, who works to comfort the Giants.
The trade, which was completed at breakfast time on Thursday, allowed the twins to finalize their opening day menu. They have done so by assigning defensive back Kyle Garlick and choice loyalist Griffin Jax to Class AAA St. Paul, placing loyalist Cody Stashak on the list with biceps tendinitis, and calling defensive back Gilberto Celestino, chosen less than a week ago, of the Saints.
In confusion? Valvey explained that reform of the list may not be finished yet.
“All I’m saying is that our list is set today,” he said. “A week from now, you don’t know where it’s going… [Celestino] It fits our list now, and we’ll need it.”
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