MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins made a trade on the eve of Opening Day in the hopes of bolstering their pitching depth with the Seattle Mariners in town starting Friday at Target Field.
The Twins announced Thursday they've traded left-handed relief pitcher Taylor Rogers and outfield prospect Brent Rooker to the San Diego Padres. In exchange, the Twins are acquiring starting pitcher Chris Paddack, and reliever Emilio Pagan.
Rogers has been with the Twins since 2016, and was an American League All-Star last season before his year ended with an injury. He pitched 40 1/3 innings last season, allowing 15 earned runs and striking out 59. Rooker played in 58 games for the Twins last season, hitting .201 with nine home runs, 10 doubles and 16 RBI.
Paddack has been with the Padres for three seasons and was their Opening Day starter in 2019. He finished the season 9-7 in 26 starts with a 3.33 earned run average, 153 strikeouts and just 31 walks in 140 innings. He went 7-7 in 22 starts last season, finishing with a 5.70 ERA.
Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said he's had interest in Paddack going back to 2017, his first season in Minnesota's front office.
"We always felt like Chris Paddack was a guy who we've always liked from a distance," Falvey said. "We've heard nothing but good things about the makeup, and just a chance to add a guy who's got three years control. A young starter who we still see having real upside potential. It's something we wanted to pursue a while ago."
Pagan spent the last two seasons with the Padres, and was the closer for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019. He had 69 strikeouts and 18 walks in 63 innings.
"His 2019 season was among probably the best in all of baseball out of the bullpen among the guys that pitched as much as he did," Falvey said. "We're counting on him to be part of that mix toward the back end of games."
The Twins reportedly tried to move Rogers last season, as he’s set to become a free agent after the 2022 season. Rooker was battling for an Opening Day roster spot with Byron Buxton solidified in the outfield, and Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach battling for the left field spot.
The move would give the Twins depth to the starting rotation, as Paddack joins Sonny Gray, Chris Archer, Dylan Bundy, Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober in the rotation. Pagan would join Jorge Alcala, Tyler Duffey, Jhoan Duran, Griffin Jax, Joe Smith, Cody Stashak and Caleb Thielbar in the bullpen.
The Twins open the 2022 season at 3:10 p.m. Friday against the Mariners at Target Field.