The heavily rumored on-again, off-again Jaime Garcia-to-the-Twins deal is officially on again, and a pitching prospect is going the other way.
The Braves have acquired No. 22 Twins prospect Huascar Ynoa in the deal that sent Garcia and catcher Anthony Recker to Minnesota, both clubs announced Monday. The Twins will also receive cash considerations in the deal.
Ynoa was signed by the Twins for $800,000 on July 2, 2014, out of the Dominican Republic after being considered the No. 17 prospect in that year's international class, according to MLB.com. The 19-year-old right-hander is in his first season above the complex level with Rookie-level Elizabethton in the Appalachian League, where he owns a 5.26 ERA in six starts. He has struck out 23 and walked 14 over 25 2/3 innings, showing an ability to make hitters miss but also struggling with his control. Ynoa is coming off an impressive season in the Gulf Coast League, where he had a 3.18 ERA with 51 strikeouts and only 12 walks over 51 innings in 2016.
The 6-foot-3 hurler has earned a plus grade for a fastball that can touch the mid-90's, while MLB.com gave him an average 50 for his changeup and below-average 45 for his curveball on the 20-80 scouting scale. He's shown flashes of effectiveness this summer -- six one-hit innings of scoreless ball on July 17 stands out -- but he's been inconsistent.
Ynoa's will be another intriguing arm in a Braves system full of them. Atlanta has nine top-100 prospects in MLB.com's current rankings -- six of them pitchers. Ynoa is likely to stay in the Appalachian League, where he'll join a Danville roster that already features No. 2 prospect Kevin Maitan and No. 20 prospect Derian Cruz.
From a Major League perspective, Garcia is the biggest name involved in the deal. The 31-year-old southpaw owns a 4.30 ERA with 85 strikeouts and 41 walks in 113 innings this season. He will look to help a Minnesota club that sits one game behind the Royals for the final American League Wild Card spot and 2.5 games behind the Indians in the AL Central.
Recker's move to Minnesota came just three hours after Atlanta had announced he was being optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to make room for Kurt Suzuki coming off the bereavement list. The 33-year-old backstop went 1-for-7 in his six games played over two different Major League stints with the Braves. He hit .222/.301/.381 with four homers over 41 games at Triple-A. The Twins will be his fifth organization after the A's, Cubs, Mets and Braves.