It may be Edgar’s day, but it’s never not a good time to make a trade if you’re Jerry Dipoto.
And, as Dipoto has done for most of this season, his latest trade has secured a formerly DFA’d reliever. This time, it’s Matt Magill from the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins. In return, the Mariners are sending cash Minnesota’s way. Magill, 29, is controlled through 2023, but has no minor league options remaining.
Mariners fans may be familiar with Magill from the time he allowed this epic walk-off shot to Mike Zunino last May:
In 28.1 innings of work this year, Magill posted a 4.45 ERA with an 11.44 K/9. Really solid numbers across the board aside from an ugly 4.76 BB/9. He is coming off his worst outing of the season against the Mets last week, in which six runs crossed the plate in a single inning. However, all six runs went unearned, but Magill still paid the ultimate price for his team’s meltdown in the 14-4 blowout loss.
As the high walk rate indicates, Magill’s biggest problem this year has been command. Encouragement can, however, be found in Magill’s arsenal of pitches, which features a consistent mid-90s fastball that scores well in the spin rate department. His second offering, the curve, is also above-average in terms of spin, ranking in the top-100 amongst all qualified pitchers.
Both pitches have helped him maintain the best K/9 of all Twins relievers. If the command can be fixed—and it easily can—then there’s some Austin Adams-level upside here, rather than just another minimal return of a Mike Wright/Jesse Biddle type.
Of course, that’s being hopeful. It’s hard to gauge the potential value of a reliever, especially after he’s just been DFA’d by a good team that could use another solid reliever or two on its roster. But there are some things in Magill’s game that should separate him from the crowded pack of mediocrity within the current relief market.
It’s a good addition for a team looking to stabilize its horrendous bullpen for the final months of a lost season. In that time, perhaps Magill is able to make a strong case for a spot on the Mariners’ roster next Opening Day, or builds some trade value for the winter time.