On Friday, the Minnesota Twins made room for Josh Donaldson on the 40-man roster by designating reliever Ryne Harper for assignment, effectively clearing a spot for Donaldson. Before Harper could completely go through waivers, Minnesota and the Washington Nationals swung a trade, swapping a pitcher for a pitcher.
The Twins received Hunter McMahon, a right-handed pitcher who was chosen in the ninth round of the 2019 MLB Draft. A product of Texas State University, McMahon spent 2019 with the Nationals’ rookie-league and low-A affiliates, pitching to a 0.71 ERA across 12.2 innings of work in nine games. He struck out 18 batters while walking only two. He was a red-shirt sophomore at Texas State University, transferring from Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. His only season of action at Texas State was last season, where he posted a 4.72 ERA in 17 appearances (14 starts). In 87.2 innings, he struck out 72 batters and issued a free pass to 31 of them.
Minnesota officially parts with with the 30-year-old rookie right-handed reliever in Harper. A dark-horse non-roster invitee to Spring Training, the reliever broke camp with the team and was able to stymie batters through most of the season with his artillery of breaking balls using various speeds. However, batters finally caught up to him and he was sent down in late August. He completed his season with the Twins by turning in a 3.81 ERA (3.66 FIP) over 54.1 innings of work in 61 games. His K/BB ratio was an even 5.00 while he posted a WHIP of 1.178.
It is interesting that the front office could get a return on Harper, who could still have some upside for the World Series Champions’ bullpen. However, it is nice for the Twins to get a low-level prospect for a reliever that they took a chance on throughout the season.