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Former Twins pitcher Tyler Mahle signs two-year deal with Rangers

Right-hander is coming off Tommy John surgery.

It’s official: The Texas Rangers announced they signed former Twins pitcher Tyler Mahle to a two-year, $22 million contract on Thursday.

Mahle’s promising start to the 2023 season for the Twins was derailed by issues in his right elbow, which eventually resulted in the 29-year-old undergoing Tommy John surgery in May.

Mahle started five games in 2023 and pitched 25 2/3 innings, striking out 28 batters while allowing 22 hits and 11 runs. He posted a strong 3.16 ERA.

The Twins traded for Mahle at the 2022 trade deadline, sending prospects Spencer Steer, Steve Hajjard and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the Cincinnati Reds for the right-hander. 

The Twins also acquired reliever Jorge Lopez at the deadline as they geared up for a postseason push.

But Mahle ended up missing the end of the season with right shoulder inflammation, and the Twins finished third in the AL Central and missed the playoffs.

Mahle then showed why the Twins took a big swing for him with his strong start in 2023, but his injury woes will make the trade go down as a "what if" for Minnesota.

The Twins still need to find a way to replenish their pitching ranks. In addition to losing Mahle, Minnesota also saw starters Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda and reliever Emilio Pagan depart in free agency.