Padres make confusing trade with Twins that keeps them over luxury tax mark

Thomas Carannante
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 5: Taylor Rogers #55 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Chicago White Sox in the seventh inning of the game at Target Field on July 5, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the White Sox 8-5. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 5: Taylor Rogers #55 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Chicago White Sox in the seventh inning of the game at Target Field on July 5, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the White Sox 8-5. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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UPDATE: Preller worked his magic and the Padres are now under the tax threshold after Minnesota sent over a ton of money in the trade!

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OK … so there’s another trade coming, right? After Wednesday’s action when general manager AJ Preller sent catcher Victor Caratini to the Milwaukee Brewers, the San Diego Padres struck again on Thursday morning and made a deal with the Minnesota Twins.

In this one, the Pads received reliever Taylor Rogers and outfielder Brent Rooker in exchange for starter Chris Paddack and reliever Emilio Pagan. San Diego needed high-leverage relief help and have plenty of starting pitching depth, so from a personnel standpoint the move makes sense.

However, the apparent goal for the Padres in recent days — after the Sean Manaea trade — was to get under the $230 million luxury tax threshold. They had about $2 million to go after the Caratini deal, but just inherited even more money in the swap with the Twins.

However, according to Jeff Passan, there could be some money involved here, so perhaps Minnesota will be sending some cash to make that a reality?

The Padres and Twins have made a trade before Opening Day.

Either that, or Preller is going to have to make another trade before the team’s 6:40 p.m. PST Thursday game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Opening Day.

Rogers, who will be a free agent after this season, will earn $7.3 million in 2022 while Rooker is making $700K, bringing the grand total to $8 million. But sending Paddack and Pagan to Minnesota freed up a total of $5.55 million, meaning San Diego inherits $2.45 million, leaving them around $4 million over that luxury tax threshold.

It wouldn’t be unreasonable for the Twins to send that much money since they’re getting a combined five years of control of the players they just acquired, but that’s just not entirely common for a mid-to-small market club.

The solution to the equation still remains trading one of Eric Hosmer or Wil Myers since the Padres now have the necessary depth to get by without both of them (and the two are making a combined $43 million in 2022).

However, with just hours before Opening Day, a deal for one of them appears less and less likely by the minute, so don’t be surprised if Preller comes out of left field with another trade you weren’t expecting.

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