BOSTON -- After the first domino fell with the trade of Eduardo Escobar to the D-backs for three Class A prospects shortly before Friday's 4-3 loss to the Red Sox, the Twins weren't done dealing, as they traded reliever Ryan Pressly to the Astros after the game for two Double-A prospects, right-hander Jorge Alcala and outfielder Gilberto Celestino.
Pressly, 29, was in high demand because of his elite spin rates and because he remains under club control through next season. The Dallas-area native said it was tough to hear the news about being dealt, because he's spent his entire six-year big league career with the Twins since getting selected in the Rule 5 Draft from the Red Sox in 2013.
"It's tough," Pressly said. "A lot of friends here. A lot of great guys in this clubhouse. It's tough to say goodbye to everybody, but it's a business. I get it. I get to go back home, which is the good part. I'm excited to go down there and help that team win. I'm pretty excited."
The Twins actually agreed to the trade late in the game and manager Paul Molitor was told not to use Pressly. With the game going to extras, Molitor went to reliever Matt Belisle instead, and he served up the game-winning homer to Mookie Betts.
"I figured something was going on," Pressly said. "I hadn't warmed up or anything. I get it. It's tough to explain while you're out there."
Molitor was emotional after the game talking about the decisions to trade Escobar and Pressly, as they were two of the longer-tenured Twins. Joe Mauer, James Dozier and Kyle Gibson are now the only players who have been with the club since '13, and Dozier and Gibson have both been subject to recent trade rumors, while Mauer has a full no-trade clause.
"Press, I've known him a long time," Molitor said. "It's hard to compare. Esco, obviously, is the heart and soul of the team, in a lot of ways. It was emotional, no question. Press, too. Two guys who have served the Twins very well. Hopefully they'll go help those teams do what they are being brought in to do."
Pressly has been enjoying a breakout season, posting a 3.40 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 19 walks in 47 2/3 innings. The spin-rate on his four-seam fastball is the fifth-highest in the Majors, while his curveball has the second-highest spin rate.
"Electric arm," Dozier said. "Houston gets a lot better as well. A great guy and we know what time it is. It just sucks when you put together a good team to accomplish something and you're right there and you can taste it and there's still a ways to go and all of a sudden this happens. That's the most disappointing part."
Alcala, 23, was ranked as Houston's No. 10 prospect, posting a combined 3.29 ERA with 82 strikeouts and 35 walks in 79 1/3 innings between Class A Advanced Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi.
Celestino, 19, was the Astros' No. 15 prospect, and he was promoted to Double-A after hitting .317/.383/.476 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 33 games at Class A Short Season Tri-City. He's earned frequent comparisons to Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr.