Former Greensboro Grasshoppers pitcher Chris Paddack goes from San Padres to Minnesota Twins in trade

Padres trade Chris Paddack, Emilio Pagan to Twins for Taylor Rogers, Brent Rooker
from Victor Barbosa, with

The San Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins have reportedly agreed to an Opening Day 2022 trade.

The deal gives the Padres a new closer in Rogers after last season’s stopper, Mark Melancon, signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in December. Melancon posted 39 saves in 2021 and earned his fourth All-Star appearance, while Rogers recorded nine saves and made his first career All-Star team.

Rogers shared closing duties in Minnesota last year but was the team’s primary ninth-inning man in 2019 (30 saves) and during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, when he registered nine saves. A 2017 first-round pick by the Twins, Rooker has hit 10 home runs and posted 21 RBIs in 189 career at-bats over 65 games.

Paddack was selected by the Miami Marlins in the eighth round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft and was traded to San Diego for former three-time All-Star closer Fernando Rodney in June 2016. Paddack made his big-league debut on March 31, 2019 and over the last three years, has gone 20-19 with a 4.21 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 310 strikeouts over 308 innings pitched covering 61 games (60 starts).

Since breaking in with the Seattle Mariners in 2017, Pagan has mostly been used as a middle-to-late inning reliever, producing a career-high 20 saves with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019. Prior to joining the Padres for the 2020 season, Pagan was with the Mariners in 2017, Oakland Athletics in 2018 and Rays in 2019.

**********Chris Paddack with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2016:2-0 record, 0.95 ERA, 28 1/3 innings, nine hits, three earned runs, two walks and 48 strikeouts….***********

from Bill Hass, with Bill on Baseball, at
July 4, 2016
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On Thursday I clicked on a story about the Marlins acquiring relief pitcher Fernando Rodney from the San Diego Padres.

I was curious to see who was the player they gave up to get him. Maybe someone from Double-A Jacksonville, or even from high-A Jupiter, which is the norm in exchange for a 39-year-old reliever with an inconsistent career.

When I read that the player was Chris Paddack, I blinked.

The 20-year-old right-hander who had quickly become a star for the Hoppers and currently has a streak of 15 consecutive hitless innings?

The same.

What in the name of Cy Young is going on?

So I began to examine the deal, trying to find the angle from both sides. From San Diego’s perspective, it was a no-brainer. The Padres aren’t going anywhere this season, so Rodney was the perfect piece to trade, most likely to a contender. They wanted a prospect and boy, did they get one.

Paddack was supposed to head north from spring training with the Hoppers but was held back because of some arm soreness. He didn’t pitch for the Hoppers until May 25, when he threw four innings against Delmarva and allowed one run on two hits while striking out nine. That got everyone’s attention.

He followed with five shutout innings on three hits against Lexington and 4 1/3 innings with two runs on four hits and four strikeouts against Hickory. Then came back-to-back performances against Rome totaling 10 innings with no hits, no walks and 19 strikeouts. In his last start he fired five more hitless innings against Hickory with nine strikeouts.

Total in six games: 2-0 record, 0.95 ERA, 28 1/3 innings, nine hits, three earned runs, two walks and 48 strikeouts.

He was the best prospect I’ve seen come through here since Jose Fernandez in 2012. Big (6-4, 200 pounds with room to grow), poised, easy delivery, good fastball, outstanding changeup and a developing curve that he used effectively in his last start.

Manager Kevin Randel and pitching coach Brendan Sagara raved about Paddack’s attitude, competitive nature, work ethic and ability to absorb things like a sponge.

“He’s a legit power starting pitching option,” Padres GM A.J. Preller told “When you look at starting pitchers … you look at guys that have multiple weapons, guys that are tough, competitive. You want to acquire as many starting pitching options as you can, and this guy checks a lot of those boxes.”

So, with all that going for him, why would the Marlins trade away one of their top prospects, further depleting a farm system that is ranked among the worst in baseball?

Not an easy question to answer. Basically, it comes down to their desire to make a run this season for one of the two wild-card National League playoff berths. At 41-37 entering Friday’s game, they were in the mix with the Dodgers, Cardinals and Mets for one of those spots.