Twins add 4 prospects in Duke, Lynn trades

Haul includes 1B Austin from Yankees, RHP De Jong from Mariners

July 30th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins continued to sell on Monday, trading lefty reliever Zach Duke to the Mariners and right-hander to the Yankees, receiving prospects Chase De Jong and Ryan Costello from Seattle and and Luis Rojo from New York. Reliever was activated from the 10-day disabled list to take Duke's spot on the roster, but there was no replacement for Lynn in time for Monday's game against the Indians.
After trading infielder and reliever on Friday, Duke was the first to get dealt on Monday, with news breaking as the club was getting ready to take batting practice at Target Field. Lynn was dealt roughly 45 minutes prior to first pitch.
De Jong, a 24-year-old right-hander, was ranked as Seattle's No. 28 prospect by MLB Pipeline, while the 22-year-old Costello is a corner infielder who was not ranked among the Mariners' Top 30. Austin, a 26-year-old first baseman with power, has played a combined 85 games in the Majors over the past three seasons, while Rijo, a 19-year-old right-hander, wasn't among the Yankees' Top 30.
"We lost Zach today," Twins manager Paul Molitor said before Monday's 5-4 win over the Indians. "Just very complimentary to what he brought professionally. Personality, leadership, he took the ball -- all those kinds of things. A guy who can do what he can do is going to be sought out by a lot of teams, and he was."
Duke had posted a 3.62 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 15 walks in 37 1/3 innings this season. Notably, he hasn't allowed a homer in 45 appearances this year. The 35-year-old was signed to a one-year, $2.15 million deal before the season. The Twins sent $75,000 to the Mariners as part of the deal, while Seattle will pay the rest, which is roughly $600,000.
"It's an exciting chapter -- I truly enjoyed my time here," Duke said. "Love the guys in this room and I'm going to miss them. But I'm looking very forward to being out there in a pennant race."
Lynn, 31, went 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA in 20 starts with the Twins, striking out 100, walking 62 and allowing 12 homers in 102 1/3 innings. He was signed to a one-year, $12 million deal in Spring Training. Minnesota will pick up half of the roughly $4.5 million he's still owed. He was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Indians. Instead, lefty will make the start.
"It happened fairly close to pregame," Molitor said of the Lynn trade. "Lance did a nice job of recovering his season after a rough start. Speculatively, I think it had to do with things that happened this winter with his late start. It took a little while until he got on track but we got a glimpse who he can be."
"I've never been through this before," Lynn said. "I really enjoyed my time here and I wish it had gotten off to a better start. But I really enjoyed it here; they were great to me. Great people, great organization. I see a lot of good things in the future here, and I wish them all the best and thank them for the opportunity."
The Twins could make more moves before Tuesday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline, with second baseman and closer also pending free agents. Molitor, though, said he's going to operate normally despite the chance of additional trades.
"I don't think 'expect' is the right word," Molitor said. "Just kind of holding steady until something else comes across. We're talking and obviously teams are out there trying to make acquisitions. So I wouldn't say it's an expectation. I'm like everybody else. I don't know which way it's going to go and who teams might pick off and who might be available."
Austin could immediately join the Twins, as he's a career .230/.287/.459 hitter with 15 homers and 43 RBIs in 85 games with the Yankees. He's split time between Triple-A and the Majors this season, hitting .223/.280/.471 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 34 games with New York. He's under team control through 2022 and fills a need for the Twins, who didn't have any first-base prospects close to the Majors.
Rijo, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound Venezuela native, has pitched well at three levels this season, posting a combined 2.77 ERA with 32 strikeouts and three walks in 39 innings between Rookie-level Pulaski, Class A Staten Island and Class A Advanced Tampa.
De Jong has Major League experience, going 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in seven appearances (four starts) with the Mariners last year. This season, he's posted a 3.80 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 34 walks in 120 2/3 innings at Double-A Arkansas.
Costello, a 31st-round pick in the 2017 Draft, was hitting .266/.360/.486 with 16 homers, 24 doubles and 70 RBIs in 101 games at Class A Clinton. At 22 he's a tad old for the level, but he's a career .285/.381/.529 hitter in two seasons in the Minors, while seeing time at first base and third base.
Reed, meanwhile, had been on the DL since July 11 with right triceps tightness. He made two rehab appearances with Triple-A Rochester over the weekend, giving up one run over two innings. He's struggled with a 4.83 ERA in 41 appearances this season, but Molitor said Reed worked on his mechanics once he got healthy enough to throw again.
"He got people out for the most part," Molitor said of Reed's rehab outings. "His velocity was topping out about 90 mph. But I think he was able to do some of the things he worked on during his down time. Specifically, he tried to get back to a few things he did better that he got away from. He felt comfortable trying those things. We had thought about waiting another day after pitching yesterday, but after Zach was traded, he was activated today."