MLBits: The Paddack Trade That Wasn’t, Mets Searching for Help, STL Top Prospect Debuts, Story’s Hot Stretch, More
Trades that were, trades that weren’t, trades that might be, and childhood friend prospects making their major league debuts together this weekend with the Cardinals. All that and more in a Friday edition of MLBits!
The Chris Paddack Trade That Wasn’t
The San Diego Padres traded Chris Paddack, reliever Emilio Pagan, and prospect Brayan Medina to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for reliever Taylor Rogers and outfielder Brent Rooker and $6.6 million in cash. But, Paddack, who will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, was almost a New York Met.
In a recent column for the New York Post, Jon Heyman reported that the Mets and Padres agreed in principle to a deal that would have sent Paddack, Pagan, Eric Hosmer, and a butt-load of cash to Queens for Mets’ first-baseman Dom Smith. But the Mets saw something they didn’t like in Paddack’s medicals, and the deal fell apart.
The Padres still have Taylor Rodgers and Brent Rooker. The Mets still have Dom Smith. The Twins, well, they’re the real losers in this trade as it stands today. Minnesota didn’t see what the Mets saw, or their desperation for legitimate starting pitching after splashing in free agency to compete with the White Sox in the AL Central made them roll the dice. Either way, the dice came up snake eyes for the Twinkies.
In five starts for the Twins, Paddack was good, not outstanding, but worth the investment. Paddack owned a 4.03 ERA, but his 1.71 FIP told a story of at least some bad luck. In 22.1 innings of work, the 26-year-old right-hander had not allowed a single home run and walked opposing hitters at a minuscule 0.81 BB/9 clip. The strikeouts were about average for his career, but the use of the fastball and the fastball velocity were down. Paddack was relying on his curveball much more per Statcast, which tracks with his recent diagnosis that resulted in TJS this week.
Paddack’s injury now leaves a gaping hole in an already thin rotation in Minnesota, and the Padres and Mets are feeling pretty good right about now. Heyman has more on the deal that wasn’t in his column:
Friday MLB notes: Big Mets-Padres deal was killed after medical red flags. Joe Panik retires. Why Boston may have no choice but to sell. No. 1 prospect Rutschman coming up this month. Royce. Rodon. Asdrubal. More. https://t.co/tRJBBnIR0K
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 20, 2022
Cardinals Look to the Farm for Help
The St. Louis Cardinals have lost six of their last 10 and are just two games above .500 entering play today, but they’re still within striking distance of the Milwaukee Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central. Now they’re calling on two of their top prospects for help.
Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore will make their MLB debuts the next two days, with Gorman in the lineup today against the Pirates and Liberatore getting the start on the mound against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Two top prospects whose friendship dates back to grade school will realize their dreams on the same team on the same weekend. Baseball can be art sometimes, and this is one of those times. (Michael: Unfortunately, Patrick will be suspended indefinitely from Bleacher Nation for calling anything Cardinal-related “art.”)
For Gorman, the time is now. For Liberatore, his start is a matter of circumstance due to a double-header that stretched the St. Louis pitching staff thinner than they would like: “The decision (to bring up Gorman) was once we realized we had a playing opportunity for him, we decided, given his performance at Triple-A, that it was time,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said in a phone call with The Athletic.
Gorman leads Triple-A with 15 home runs, and Liberatore owns a 3.83 ERA, so the body of work is there to justify the promotions. Katie Woo has more on the promotions of Gorman and Liberatore in her latest column at The Athletic:
For Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore, the question was never if they would eventually be called upon to produce at the big-league level. It was only a matter of when.
That moment is finally here. Time to let the kids play. https://t.co/TEdCUSULQh
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) May 20, 2022
Injuries Have the Mets Searching for Answers
With news of Max Scherzer’s oblique injury that will sideline him for six-to-eight weeks and recent reports that indicate that Jacob deGrom’s best-case scenario is still as far out as July, the first-place New York Mets have two gaping holes in their starting rotation.
According to Pat Ragazzo, the void has forced the Mets to begin to look outside of the organization for help. Oakland’s Frankie Montas and Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle are the two names that have been scouted by the Mets recently, both of whom play on bad rebuilding teams that will be highly motivated to move these two arms.
Montas is having a solid start to the season, with a 3.67 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and 53 strikeouts. Montas is a pure rental and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Mahle has an additional year of control but has struggled this season to the tune of a 5.23 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Despite the rocky start for Mahle, he has strung together three straight solid starts in which he has pitched to the tune of a 2.60 ERA and a 9.35 K/9 in that span. Mahle was 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 180 innings of work for the Reds last season.
MLB Insider: New York Mets Have Scouted These Two Starting Pitchers https://t.co/TpkwPZOFXI
— Pat Ragazzo (@ragazzoreport) May 20, 2022
Odds and Ends …
• Ken Rosenthal has a full notebook in his latest at The Athletic in which he discusses why now is not the time to trade Juan Soto, Reds’ rookie pitcher Hunter Greene, the Cardinals’ youth infusion, and more:
*Not the time to trade Soto
*A concern for Hunter Greene
*When Aaron Judge, Taylor Ward were teammates
*Rays’ latest surprise
*Cardinals’ infusion of youth
*Inside Kaval’s $2M a month claim
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 20, 2022
• Buck Showalter is now getting turn-by-turn directions from the Cookie Monster on Waze. I would also enjoy a Cookie Monster option for my Siri voice on my iPhone.
buck showalter said he changed the voice on his waze app because the guy with the english accent was “smug” and “pissing him off”
he likes the cookie monster voice because “you can’t get mad at cookie monster”
— Matthew Roberson (@mroberson22) May 19, 2022
• Jayson Stark has plenty of goodness in his latest Weird and Wild column over at The Athletic:
"Hilarious..memorable..amazing..and just kind of.. awful."
Wainwright on his new closer (Albert) in a fun new Weird/Wild .. plus:
*Debut before you debut!
*Odubel's goofy swing!
* @LenKasper spots a classic
And lots more!https://t.co/LJJkgP9pKg
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) May 20, 2022
• Trevor Story had himself a night on Thursday at Fenway Park. After a dreadful start to his Red Sox career, Story has been on fire of late, clubbing five home runs and 13 RBI with four stolen bases and a 211 wRC+ over his last 10 games.
.@Tstory2 is the first 2B in @MLB history to have 3 HR and a SB in one game. pic.twitter.com/3PhgM9NHcP
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 20, 2022
• This is wild. That’s a touchdown throw from El Duque. I could talk about that time El Duque came out of the bullpen to work his way out of a bases-loaded no-out jam to help the White Sox beat Boston in the 2005 ALDS but let’s just have a nice Friday in the Disqus section.
THROWback Thursday: glove throw edition!
El Duque tossing the glove to first was amazing. pic.twitter.com/ACaPMMgkKw
— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) May 19, 2022
• Oh, you thought we wouldn’t have a new installment in “So You Think You Can Hit Against a Major League Pitcher?” Framber Valdez had something to say about that:
Framber puts the sink in sinker.
(MLB x @CueHealth) pic.twitter.com/OP2v6xOHL6
— MLB (@MLB) May 20, 2022
• We’ll wrap this one up with a Pete Alonso walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon. Alonso’s 36 RBIs are tops in baseball, one ahead of Giancarlo Stanton’s 35. That’s my fantasy baseball first-baseman! *insert Terrell Owens “that’s my QB”.GIF*