2:50pm: The teams agreed to a trade that will send Mahle to the Twins, tweets Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Ted Schwerzler of TwinsDaily reports that Minnesota is sending infield prospects Spencer Steward and Christian Encarnacion-Thread to the Reds, as well as a lefty Steven Hajjar (Twitter link).
2:41pm: The Reds and Twins are in “serious talks” over a rights trade Tyler Mahle from Cincinnati to Minnesota, reports C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic (via Twitter). Minnesota was interested in Mahle going back to the offseason, when they also picked up another Reds starter, Sonny Grayin a trade that sent the 2021 first round Chase Petty to the Reds.
Minnesota is focused on upgrading its pitching staff, both in the rotation and the bullpen. Already landed Orioles closer Jorge Lopez in a trade with Baltimore earlier this morning, their focus appears to have shifted to Mahle, who would reunite with Gray and give the Twins a starter they can control for the remainder of the current season and for the 2023 campaign.
Mahle, 28 next month, has had a terrific start to the 2022 season and has been successful over the past two months. He had a brief stint on the injured list due to a shoulder strain in mid-July, but Mahle has missed little time and has made a pair of effective starts since returning. Dating back to May 29, he has a 2.83 ERA with a 27.9% strikeout rate and a 7% walk rate in 57 1/3 innings.
Since breaking out during the 2020 season, Mahle has pitched to a 3.93 ERA with a 27.4% strikeout rate and an 8.9% walk rate in 332 big league innings. He averages 94 mph with his heater along the way and has leaned heavily on a splitter and slider that have both graded out as above-average pitches at times – lately in favor of the splitter (especially as a way to neutralize lefties). .
Beyond Mahle’s solid ERA, it’s easy to get excited about how he might succeed as he finally escapes the homer-happy confines of Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. He’s worked to an ugly 4.83 ERA and averaged 1.69 home runs per nine innings over the past three seasons while pitching at home but has a stellar 2.93 ERA and just a 0.52 HR/9 mark on the road He also has above-average spin on his heater and rates in the 76th percentile or better, per Statcast, in each of the following metrics: expected ERA, expected batting average, expected slugging percentage and expected wOBA.
More to come.