San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller never sleeps as he made a new deal on the morning of Opening Day. The Padres have acquired All-Star reliever Taylor Rogers and 27-year-old outfielder Brent Rooker from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan.
The Minnesota-San Diego trade, per sources:
Twins get right-handed starter Chris Paddack and right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan
Padres get left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers and outfielder Brent Rooker.
Money and a PTBNL possibly involved, too.
Opening Day deal! Love it.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 7, 2022
Rogers emerged in 2019 as one of the best closers in baseball after serving as a primary left-handed bullpen arm beginning in 2016. He posted a 3.96 ERA in 2016 as a rookie, and continued to improve through the 2019 season.
During the pandemic-shortened 2020, Rogers had an out-of-character year, posting a 4.05 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He bounced back in 2021 with a 3.35 ERA, this time as a traditional reliever more so than a closer. He earned his first career All-Star selection last season as well. Striking batters out is Rogers’ forte, as he’s racked up 361 in just 314.2 career innings. He deploys a lethal slider and sinker combination.
Taylor Rogers, Sick Slider…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/NLEKHHGzOw
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 27, 2022
Rogers is a homegrown Twin in more ways than just one. Minnesota drafted him in 2012 out of the University of Kentucky in the 11th round of the MLB Draft. He is also a twin to Giants reliever Tyler Rogers.
Rooker is the other player acquired by the Padres in this deal. He is still a young player in the league, performing in just 65 games across two seasons. Rooker is yet to find his groove at the major league level with a .212 average. The Padres may want to add him to the outfield depth, which is still severely lacking.
Paddack’s name had been flying around in trade rumors for some time, and after his first three years in big leagues as a Padres, he’ll be making his second major league stop. After a promising 2019 in which he posted a 3.33 ERA and 126 ERA+, he has struggled to the tune of a 4.95 ERA and 81 ERA+ in 35 games since.
Pagan is no stranger to being traded. After serving as the closer of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Padres acquired Pagan prior to the 2020 season with high expectations. Unfortunately, Pagan never really met them as served as an inconsistent middle reliever who also pitched frequently in the eighth inning.
Rogers will come in and be a solid left-handed reliever in what was previously a right-handed heavy bullpen. He may even compete for the closer role, as he has major league experience in those situations.