The Cincinnati Reds have traded starting pitcher Tyler Mahle to the Minnesota Twins for prospects Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Steven Hajjar. Jon Heyman of the New York Post was the first to report the deal.
Tyler Mahle has spend his entire career with Cincinnati. He was their 7th round draft pick in the 2013 draft out of high school and worked his way up through the system before making his debut in August of 2017 as a 22-year-old. He’s now pitched in parts of six seasons with the Reds, going 31-38 in 114 games where he’s thrown 593.2 innings with 637 strikeouts and a 4.35 ERA.
In this season he’s made 19 starts and posted a 4.40 ERA while throwing 104.1 innings with 39 walks and 114 strikeouts. The Twins may be looking at his home road splits over the last few years and think that they might have just landed a pitcher who could perform quite well once he’s out of Great American Ball Park for good. And they’ll get a chance to see how that plays out for the rest of the 2022 season, as well as the 2023 season before Mahle would become a free agent. Mahle will join former rotation mate Sonny Gray in Minnesota.
Baseball America rates shortstop Spencer Steer as the Twins 4th rated prospect, while left-handed Steven Hajjar was their 11th rated prospect, and third baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand was their 14th rated prospect.
Spencer Steer has split time this season between Double-A and Triple-A with the Twins organization and has hit .269/.361/.528 between the two stops. He crushed the ball in Double-A Wichita, but has taken a step back at Triple-A St. Paul where he’s hit .242/.345/.485 in 48 games. He can play shortstop if you need him to, but he profiles better at second or third base from a defensive standpoint. You can see his career stats here.
Steven Hajjar has made 12 starts this season for the Low-A Fort Myers team in the Twins organization and he’s been dominant. He posted a 2.47 ERA in 43.2 innings while allowing just 25 hits and striking out 71 batters. The lefty has walked 22 batters in that time and that’s a number that will have to come down as he continues to move up the ladder. You can see his career stats here.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand has split time between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita this year. In 74 games with Cedar Rapids he hit .296/.370/.599 with 23 doubles and 20 home runs. In his 13 games since moving up to Double-A he’s hit .333/.400/.685 with another two doubles and five home home runs. The 22-year-old has plus-plus raw power and he’s been able to really show off his power in games. Defensively he’s at third now but could wind up having to move to first base. You can see his career stats here.