Twins Extension Candidate: Jose Berrios
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsJose Berrios
2020 Stats (12 games): 4.00 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 109 ERA+, 4.06 FIP, 0.7 WAR
Current Contract (2nd-Year Arbitration Eligible, Free Agent: 2023)
In his second year of arbitration, Berrios is slated to make somewhere between $5-7.5 million. Last season, the Twins and Berrios couldn’t agree on a salary, so they had to go through an arbitration hearing. He had requested a salary of $4.4 million and the Twins offered $4.025 million. These hearings can be tough for the player and the team as they argue over a player’s value compared to similar players in previous seasons. It will be interesting to see if the two sides go through the hearing process again this year.
Pros of Extending Now
Minnesota has struggled to develop starting pitching in the organization for many years and Berrios is one of the lone players to prove he can be an effective starter at the big-league level. He’s already been a two-time All Star and the closer he gets to free agency, the more expensive an extension would cost. An extension this winter would allow Berrios and his family to be set-up for life and it would give the Twins some certainty with their costs moving forward. It isn’t going to be cheap to sign him, so sooner rather than later might be the key.
Cons of Extending Now
The Twins have previously approached Berrios with potential contract extensions, but he seems satisfied to go year-to-year through the arbitration process and betting on himself improving each season. “Every player wants to sign a multiyear deal, but we know it’s a business,” Berrios told the Star Tribune in spring training 2019. “I have to manage my business, too. … We’re waiting for the best for both sides. If it doesn’t happen this year, maybe next year.” Another year has passed, and an extension has yet to be signed.
It’s likely for Berrios to make around $7 million in 2021 and then see a raise to around $10 million for 2022 before heading to free agency. An extension is going to be a little trickier since he has already entered the arbitration process and he is closer to free agency. Berrios isn’t going to take a hometown discount to stay with the Twins so that likely means he will be looking at a contract north of $100 million. According to Baseball Reference, one of the most similar pitchers to him through age 26 is Trevor Bauer and he is headed for a massive payday this winter.
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