The Minnesota Twins might not have made the splashiest moves at the MLB trade deadline but they made some significant additions.
Minnesota bolstered its pitching staff, picking up starter Tyler Mahle and relievers Michael Fulmer and Jorge Lopez, albeit at the cost of some prospects.
How did Minnesota do at the deadline? The analysis from around the web was mostly good, with a couple of exceptions.
We’ve compiled the grades, “winners and losers” listings and other analysis from a memorable trade deadline.
Zach Crizer of Yahoo Sports: C. “The Twins scooped up Mahle, a starter from the Cincinnati Reds who was the best pitcher left on the ‘definitely moving’ pile heading into deadline day. He’s not going to factor into the Cy Young conversations, but Mahle has shown consistent strikeout abilities, even when the top-line numbers have sometimes wavered.”
Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report: A. “Even if the Twins' starting rotation hasn't been as disastrous as it was during their last-place season in 2021, it's still 26th in the league in rWAR. Now along comes Mahle, who might already be the best starter the Twins have on paper. The 27-year-old was an under-the-radar ace in 2020 and 2021. He got off to a slow start this year, but he's since put together a 2.83 ERA over his last nine starts. The Twins did pay a pretty penny to get Mahle from the Reds, but a contender's gotta do what a contender's gotta do. It's further consolation that he's not a rental, as his club control runs through 2023.”
Troy Brock of Last Word on Sports: B+. “A solid trade for both sides.”
Kevin Skiver of Sporting News: A.
Jason Radowitz of OddsChecker: A-. “Mahle's been pitching very well and should be a solid fit in the Twins' rotation as they try and win the AL Central.”
Franchise Sports: B+. “It’s a rare win-win, though this could age poorly for the Twins if they miss the playoffs this year or next.”
Owen Crisafulli of Clutch Points: A-. “Mahle is appealing, not only because he has top-end stuff as a starter, but he’s also fairly young at just 27 years old, and is under team control through the 2023 season. So the Twins got themselves a guy who will help them in 2022, and potentially the future as well.”
Zach Crizer of Yahoo Sports: B. “He’s a worthwhile addition for Minnesota. A Lopez-Fulmer-Jhoan Duran back end is certainly better than what they started the week with.”
Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report: A. “As fixes for this depth problem go, it doesn't get much better than Lopez. ... What's more, the 29-year-old is under club control through 2024. So while the Twins paid a hefty price to get Lopez, making him part of a three-headed relief monster for two-plus years is worth it.”
Kevin Skiver of Sporting News: A.
Franchise Sports: B.
Zach Crizer of Yahoo Sports: A. “The Twins got much-needed help without giving up a player they’ll lose too much sleep over.”
Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report: B. “There's never anything wrong with a contender continuing to add to its bullpen.”
Kevin Skiver of Sporting News: A-.
Franchise Sports: A. “It was never going to be a big haul for a rental, but this looks a great deal for the Twins. Fulmer has been a much better pitcher since upping his power-slider usage, and he’s good for an xERA just over three this year.”
Kevin Skiver of Sporting News: B-.
Franchise Sports: C+.
Emma Baccellieri of SI.com: Classifies the Twins as one of her MLB trade deadline winners. “The Twins needed pitching, and they got it. With starters Tyler Mahle and relievers Jorge López and Michael Fulmer, Minnesota landed the depth to fix their biggest flaw. (They also got a backup catcher in Sandy Leon from Cleveland.) They’ve been the best team by default in a bad division all year. Now, they look much closer to being a team who’s actually good. And as an added bonus, there was next to no action from the Guardians and White Sox, making these moves even more impactful for the Twins.”
Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com: Classifies the Twins as one of his MLB trade deadline winners. “One more starting pitcher would have been nice but Jorge López, Michael Fulmer, and Tyler Mahle are an excellent haul for a first-place team that badly needed rotation and bullpen help. The Twins gave up nothing they'll miss in the short-term for two above-average pitchers they can keep beyond this season through arbitration (López and Mahle) and a good rental (Fulmer). Nothing fancy, but players that meaningfully improve the club's division title hopes and postseason chances.”
The Wrightway Sports Network: B+. “The Twins added a couple of pretty good pieces. They’re pitching has been their Achilles heel and they fixed that by adding starter Tyler Mahle from the Reds, reliever Michael Fulmer from the Tigers and closer Jorge Lopez from Baltimore. Overall, solid moves made by Minnesota who hold a slim lead in the AL Central.”
Edward Sutelan of Sporting News: Classifies the Twins as one of his MLB trade deadline winners. “Minnesota is trying to hold off both the Guardians and White Sox in the AL Central race. Being the only team of the three to make any major moves at the deadline is a great way to stay ahead. ... The Twins' offense is already one of the best in baseball. Making three strong pitching additions? That could go a long way toward making a strong postseason push.”
Jim Bowden of The Athletic ($): B+. “The Twins needed a closer and were willing to overpay by sending four pitching prospects to the Orioles to get Jorge López, who is a difference-maker. López has 19 saves and a 1.68 ERA in 44 appearances, and his ERA drops below 1.00 with a .146 batting average against if you remove his outings against the Twins, as The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman noted. It was a shrewd short-term move, and the Twins control López through the 2024 season. They also decided to pay a significant price to land Tyler Mahle, sending three of their top 25 prospects to Cincinnati to close the deal. And finally, they got greedy, trading a fringe prospect to Detroit to get Michael Fulmer, who gives them even more bullpen depth. While the White Sox and Guardians were doing nothing, the Twins front office made moves that should create more separation in the standings.”
Franchise Sports: Classifies the Twins as one of the MLB trade deadline winners. “Minnesota deserves a ton of credit for making big waves when talking about the MLB trade deadline winners and losers in 2022. The Twins added three quality pitchers to their staff, getting starter Tyler Mahle from the Reds while also acquiring closer Jorge Lopez from the Orioles and relievers Michael Fulmer from the Tigers. Mahle isn’t a frontline starter but he adds quality depth to an injury-plagued rotation. Lopez, meanwhile, is the biggest addition, giving the Twins a closer who was an all-star earlier this summer. Fulmer also adds quality depth to the Minnesota bullpen and should help the Twins hold off the White Sox and Guardians in the AL Central.”
Sam DiGiovanni of Clutch Points: Lists the Twins as one of his five winners of the deadline. “In addition to their biggest division rivals not making any serious moves, the Twins got to work at the MLB trade deadline. With three new arms, their pitching staff should be even better as they look to make a deep playoff run.”
Mike Rosenstein of NJ.com: Classifies the Twins as one of the MLB trade deadline winners.
Travis Sawchik of theScore: Lists the Twins as one of his winners of the deadline.
Greg Joyce of the NY Post: Classifies the Twins as one of the MLB trade deadline winners. “With a crowd atop the AL Central, the first-place Twins separated themselves from the Guardians and White Sox by trading for Orioles closer Jorge Lopez, Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle and Tigers reliever Michael Fulmer. They may not be the flashiest names but they should help the Twins’ pitching staff as they try to fend off their division foes down the stretch.”
Tim Kelly of Audacy Sports: Classifies the Twins as one of the MLB trade deadline winners. “While the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox had quiet deadlines, the AL Central-leading Twins acquired Tyler Mahle, Jorge López and Michel Fulmer, bolstering their postseason odds. Of those three, Fulmer is the only one who can become a free agent after the season, so it was a productive day for Thad Levine and company.”
Charles Curtis of For the Win. Classifies the Twins as one of the MLB trade deadline winners. “I like what they did a lot. ... You can still win at the deadline with less flashy moves.”