The Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins struck a deal over the offseason that sent veteran right-hander Sonny Gray to the Twin Cities and plucky young fireballer Chase Petty to the Queen City. With the August 2nd trade deadline looming, might these two franchises line up for another pitching swap?
According to Dan Hayes of The Athletic, the Twins are desperate to add starting pitching to their AL Central-leading squad, and have interest in what’s left of the Cincinnati rotation. However, while the majority of the baseball world has had their microscopes on ace Luis Castillo, it appears the Twins might well prefer to add Tyler Mahle who, like Castillo, comes with team control for the 2023 season on top of his repertoire this year.
There’s plenty to like about Mahle despite his recent sore shoulder and his perpetual spot in Castillo’s shadow. His home/road splits during his Reds tenure are one, his 2.93 ERA in road starts since the start of 2020 ranking as the 13th best in all of baseball among the 107 starters who’ve thrown at least 100 IP in that time. Clayton Kershaw ranks 12th and Miami ace Sandy Alcantara ranks 14th on that list, by the way.
Whether or not Minnesota views Mahle as better than Castillo truly isn’t the focus here, as it’s whether or not they view Cincinnati’s asking price for Mahle as worth its while that’s the biggest question. That the Sonny Gray deal has provided them with a pretty typical Sonny Gray performance so far this year (when healthy) might well play into the Reds favor, too, as the business-end of their most recent swap hasn’t gone sour for either side.
The Castillo rumbles will continue to lead the news in the next week, but keep an eye on the Mahle market, too, especially since his outing over the weekend after his sore shoulder showed he’s back, healthy, and with plenty left in the tank for a 2022 playoff push for a team outside of Cincinnati.