Twins trade for RHP Haley in Rule 5 Draft

Former Red Sox Minor Leaguer to audition for rotation spot; Minnesota loses C Turner

December 8th, 2016

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Twins had the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft but maneuvered a three-team trade with the Padres and Angels to acquire right-hander Justin Haley.

The Twins selected right-hander Miguel Diaz but sent him to San Diego for a player to be named later or cash considerations; the Padres are expected to receive cash. Los Angeles then sent Haley, who was taken eighth from the Red Sox organization, to the Padres, who traded him to the Twins for cash.

Hot Stove Tracker | Rule 5 Draft results

Even with the trade, the Twins must keep Haley on their 25-man roster for the entire season or offer him back to the Red Sox, his original organization. The Twins also lost catcher Stuart Turner to the Reds, who picked him in the second round.

"Working with San Diego in this regard was extremely beneficial because they're very creative," Twins general manager Thad Levine said. "It was a calculated decision on our part. It was very appealing to us to get Haley in this deal. We didn't know if he'd be there, but that was part of the appeal, so we took that chance."

Haley, 25, posted a combined 3.01 ERA with 126 strikeouts and 45 walks in 146 2/3 innings split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket last season. The 6-foot-5 righty is expected to audition for a spot in the rotation come Spring Training, but he could end up as a long reliever.

"He's going to come into camp competing to be one of our 12 pitchers," Levine said. "What our scouts like about him is that he's versatile, so we'll likely stretch him out. He'll contend for length on our staff but could also be a swingman or a multi-inning reliever."

Haley possesses a fastball that sits in the low 90s along with a curveball and changeup. He uses his fastball up in the zone, but because of his deception, he has allowed only 33 homers in 559 career innings in the Minors.

"He pitches up in the zone with the fastball up above the barrel," Levine said. "Very good deception with a changeup and curveball. He's had a great track record of success in the Minor Leagues, and our scouts liked him."

Turner, meanwhile, was lost to the Reds. The 24-year-old is known more for his defense, as he hit .239/.322/.363 with six homers, 22 doubles and 41 RBIs in 97 games last season.

"I think that's a real loss," Levine said. "When you have roster protections, you have an extensive list, and a number of our scouts brought him up as someone who could be a part of our future. They see a real skillset there. We felt there could be a risk of another team having interest. Selfishly, we hope we get him back, but if this is a chance to start his Major League career, we wish him the best. We think he's a real talent."