Sunday, September 26, 2021

Twins’ Taylor Rogers is a player to watch at the trade deadline


Unsurprisingly, Twins southpaw Taylor Rogers “is very popular on the trade market,” MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets. There is enough interest that the reliever has a “good chance to be dealt” even though Minnesota is reportedly reluctant to move players who are under team control beyond this season. Rogers has one more arbitration year remaining before free agency in the 2022-23 offseason.

Rogers has somewhat quietly been one of baseball’s most effective relievers since just about the moment of his MLB debut in 2016, as the left-hander has a 3.15 ERA, 27.9% strikeout rate, and a 22% K-BB rate over 314 2/3 career innings out of Minnesota’s bullpen. He has kept up that form in 2021, with a 3.35 ERA and a whopping 35.5% strikeout rate that ranks 11th among all hurlers with at least 40 innings pitched this season. This is the type of high-level performance that could be the difference-maker in a pennant race, so while the Twins undoubtedly have a huge asking price for Rogers, another team could be willing to take the plunge to upgrade its bullpen for both the rest of this season and into 2022.

More from around the American League…

  • Alex Bregman will start a Triple-A rehab assignment within the next few days, the Astros star told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart and other reporters. A left quad strain sent Bregman to the 10-day injured list on June 17, and even though there was initial uncertainty around exactly how long Bregman might be out, the Astros’ series against the Twins on Aug. 5-8 seems to look like the target time frame. At the time of his injury, Bregman was hitting .275/.359/.428 with seven home runs over 262 plate appearances.
  • Before the Rays traded for Nelson Cruz, the Athletics gave some consideration to acquiring the slugger themselves, Shayna Rubin of the Bay Area News Group writes. The A’s seemingly didn’t get close to a move, however, due to both the financial and prospect cost attached to Cruz, and Rubin wonders if payroll concerns in particular will keep the Athletics from making any particularly big deadline splashes. While spending is always an issue for the club, money could be tighter than ever now that the A’s no longer receive revenue-sharing money — as per the last collective bargaining agreement, the Athletics were gradually phased out of the league’s revenue-sharing plan over a multi-year period.  Nevertheless, Billy Beane and company have been adept at finding lower-cost help at past deadlines, such Oakland’s trade for Tommy La Stella last year.
  • Corey Kluber threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday, and the Yankees veteran told reporters (including ESPN’s Marly Rivera) that he is “very confident” that he’ll be able to return in 2021. Kluber was initially targeted for a late-July return at the time of his IL placement for a shoulder strain, although Yankees GM Brian Cashman later threw some doubt into the veteran’s exact timeline, saying that the right-hander might not be back until September. While Kluber certainly doesn’t look immediately close to an activation just yet, his mound work does represent progress, even if he described his 25 pitches as “easy fastballs…nothing like I would do in a regular bullpen session.”





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