Twins Acquire Chris Paddack, Send Taylor Rogers to Padres
The Minnesota Twins aggressive off-season continued as the club acquired starting pitcher Chris Paddack and reliever Emilio Pagán from San Diego just hours before first pitch on Opening Day. The Padres acquired lefthanded reliever Taylor Rogers and outfielder Brent Rooker.
Taylor Rogers, LHP
The lefthander has been one of the most reliable relievers in the American League over the last five years. He’s filled a variety of roles for the Twins including as the team’s closer. Rogers sports a career ERA of 3.15 with 50 saves and a 22% K-BB% across 319 careeer appearances. He now joins a Padres bullpen that’s been slowly revamped over the last two years. Rogers could supplant prospective closer Robert Suarez as the Padres option in the ninth, if not immediately, he presents a reliable option should Suarez falter.
Brent Rooker, OF
A former college star at Mississippi State, Rooker was selected 35th overall in 2017. He made waves out of the draft hitting .281/.364/.566 with 18 home runs between the Gulf Coast League and the Hi-A Florida State League. He performed fairly well in the upper-minors in the seasons prior to the pandemic, fitting the mold of a three true outcome type hitter, with strong power numbers, double digit walk rates, and a lot of strikeouts. He debuted with the Twins during the 2020 season and saw over 200 plate appearances last season. With the move to San Diego Rooker provides depth in the corner outfield behind Wil Myers and Jurrickson Profar. He's also played first base, but his defensive limitations at either spot are significant, and have kept him from ever becoming an MLB regular.
Chris Paddack, RHP
The Sheriff captivated the baseball world during the first half of his rookie season, emerging as one of the best young pitchers in the game. During his rookie campaign Paddack made 26 starts for the Padres, pitching to a 9-7 record, with a 3.33 ERA, and a 21.5% K-BB%. Paddack has been unable to recapture that magic since, as the righthander has struggled with ineffectiveness over the last two seasons. Questions around the shape of Paddack’s fastball backing up following the 2019 season continue to plague him. His difficulty with spinning a breaking ball has improved slightly over the last two seasons but a true third pitch still escapes him. If Paddack can figure out how to better spin a breaking ball in Minnesota, he could end up being a solid mid-rotation option. But that’s been on his to-do list for many years now, and as of yet, he’s been unable to develop a consistent breaking ball.
Emilio Pagán, RHP
Pagán will be pitching for his fifth different organization in his sixth season in the majors. The righthander has been traded four times, going from the Mariners to the Athletics to the Rays to the Padres before this most recent deal. He’s been an inconsistent but at times valuable reliever along each of his four previous stops. He closed 20 games for Tampa in 2019, and was an above-average reliever over his first three seasons. His time in San Diego was less impressive as he struggled with home runs and command. With a powerful mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s cutterish slider, he has shown flashes of strong performance in high leverage appearances. Similar to Paddack, Pagán will look to recapture his previous form in Minnesota.