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Twins and Chris Paddack agree on extension

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The Minnesota Twins and Right-handers Chris Paddack would have agreed to a 3-year deal, by twins daily. According to Dan Hayes of The Athletic, the contract guarantee is US$ 12.5 million. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Paddack will receive $2.5 million in 2023, $2.5 million in 2024 and $7.5 million in 2025, with up to an additional $2.5 million available in incentives. The deal, which is pending a physical, would lock Paddack to a free agent year beyond his normal window of team control.

Paddack, 27 last week, was acquired by the Twins last April in a deal with the Padres that also saw taylor rogers and Emilio Pagan change uniform. Unfortunately for the Twins, Paddack only managed 22 1/3 innings with the club before he landed on the injured list with an elbow problem. Paddack later underwent Tommy John surgery in May, with August 2023 as the reported target for his return to the big leagues.

Paddack was an instant hit in his 2019 rookie season with the Padres, posting a 3.33 ERA (126 ERA+) with a 3.95 FIP in 26 starts and amassed 153 strikeouts in just 140 2/3 innings of work . The shortened 2020 season saw him struggle greatly, however, as his ERA increased to 4.73 (89 ERA+) and his FIP also increased to 5.02 in 59 innings. A factor in this was its horrendous 25.0% FC/FB rate, nearly double its 14.6% rate in 2019.

His home run rate returned to normal in 2021, but Paddack continued to struggle. In 108 1/3 innings in 2021, Paddack posted a career-worst 5.07 ERA (77 ERA+). Paddack’s 3.72 FIP in 2021 indicates that there may have been some bad luck built into those results, but there was still cause for concern: his strike rate had plummeted. After striking out 9.8 batters for 9 in his rookie season in 2019, that ratio dropped to 8.8 in 2020 and dropped again in 2021, dropping to 8.2, good for a strikeout ratio only in the 35th percentile that year .

Of course, it’s worth noting that Paddack has struggled with injuries throughout the 2021 season, which certainly could have impacted his performance. Paddack has spent more than two months on the injured list in 2021 in three separate spells at IL, suggesting he may not have been fully healthy even when he was on the mound that season. Between his youth and injury history, there’s reason to believe Paddack could return to form more in line with his 2019 debut once he’s fully healthy, an outcome the Twins are banking on with this deal.

By extending Paddack, the Twins provide the right-hander with some security during his rehabilitation process and return to the pitcher’s mound, while gaining an extra year of team control for a pitcher with substantial advantages. If Paddack returns to the mound later in the season, he’ll join a somewhat complete mix of rotation that currently includes sonny gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maedaand Bailey Ober. With that said, Gray, Mahle and Maeda are poised to hit the free agent market after 2023, leaving Paddack as a likely key player in Minnesota’s 2024 rotation.

Four years into his service, Paddack was set to be eligible for arbitration this offseason and next, with MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz projecting him for $2.4 million during this arbitration round. With this deal, Paddack forgoes a potential raise through the arbitration process next year, plus a year of free agency, though he’s still set to hit the market at age 30 after the 2025 campaign. costs like Paddack is a huge boon to Minnesota’s payroll flexibility going forward – while their projected payroll for the 2024 season is just $65MM per RosterResource (prior to inclusion of arbitrage-eligible players on the roster) , the Twins are , as previously mentioned, expected to lose three members of their rotation this offseason, potentially in addition to two starting outfielders in Joey Gallo and Max Kepler. While young people like Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach could step up in the outfield, it seems all but certain that the Twins will have to supplement their core in free agency next year. Cost certainty with Paddack can help them be more aggressive in making these additions and maximize the early years of Carlos Correanew six-year contract with the club.