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Front Page: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of a Potential Jose Berrios Extension

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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:00 PM

Last week, the Twins agreed to terms with all their arbitration eligible players with Jose Berrios being the lone exception. The Twins were able to reach an extension with Miguel Sano to potentially buy out two of his free agent seasons and now Berrios is a prime candidate to be offered a long-term extension. With any long-term deal, there can be plenty of aspects to consider.The Good
Jose Berrios is a two-time All-Star and he has become Minnesota’s best starting pitcher. He’s ranked in the American League top-20 for ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, WHIP and opponents batting average. According to Baseball Savant, he ranks most closely to Mike Minor, Anthony DeSclafani, Joe Musgrove and Joey Lucchesi. These aren’t exactly perennial Cy Young candidates, but it is a combination of older and younger pitchers that are similar to Berrios.

Last week, Matthew wrote about pitchers in their age-26 season, which he identified as the peak age for starting pitchers. Top pitchers like Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg and Dallas Keuchel all hit peak numbers in multiple categories during their age-26 season. Minnesota needs Berrios to take steps next season to be even better than he has been over the last two seasons.

The Bad
Berrios and his second half slumps have been well documented over the last few seasons. His ERA is over a full run higher in the second half and his second half WHIP is 33 points higher. Opponents hit .229/.289/.391 (.679) against him in the season’s first half, while those numbers jump to .264/.343/.413 (.756) in the second half. There might be a small amount of bad luck involved in his numbers because his BAbip is 52 points higher in the second half.

Since the Twins drafted Berrios, questions about his size and physical make-up. Berrios is roughly 6-feet tall and just over 200 pounds, so he isn’t exactly a daunting figure on the mound. Some have wondered if his body type is one of the reasons he has pitched more poorly in the second half. Most of his social media shows us that he gets into prime condition in the off-season, but even doing that doesn’t guarantee he will find second-half success.

The Ugly
Over the last two off-seasons, the Twins’ front office has been able to sign extensions with young core players like Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano. Reports last off-season mentioned the Twins also approached Berrios about a possible extension, but he they likely will have to “pay up” to buy out any free agent seasons from Berrios. Free agent pitchers have seen lucrative contracts this off-season and Berrios could be due a large contract if he hits the open market.

As mentioned earlier, the Twins and Berrios couldn’t reach an agreement on his 2020 salary as part of the arbitration process. Berrios submitted at $4.4 million and the Twins filed at $4.025 million, which puts the difference at $375,000. Will the Twins and Berrios let this difference go all the way to an arbitration hearing? These can be ugly hearings with the team having to bring up flaws in a player that is a building block for the team.

Do you think the Twins will be able to sign Berrios to a long-term deal? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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#2 jorgenswest

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:49 PM

Of course they are able to sign a Berrios to an extension. There exists a number that will win the deal. It doesn’t need to be team friendly. Are they willing to pay up?
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#3 gil4

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:02 PM

 

Of course they are able to sign a Berrios to an extension. There exists a number that will win the deal. It doesn’t need to be team friendly. Are they willing to pay up?

If the Twins sign him now, they assume all the risk of injury. If that doesn't buy them a substantial discount, there is no point. This is year 1 of arbitration for him - if he wants to wait, we can wait.


#4 HrbieFan

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:03 PM

I believe he really has confidence in himself and is willing to go year to year. As a Twins fan, I would love to see him locked down for 5 years
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#5 Vanimal46

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:08 PM

They’re running out of time to sign Berrios to a reasonable extension buying out 2-3 free agent years. There were a couple of comparable pitchers (Severino 4/40, Nola 4/45 with option to make it 5/53) the Twins could have used to start the discussion with Berrios.

If he’s a Trevor Bauer type and wants to go year to year until free agency, we need to know that too and find out his value on the trade market.
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#6 tony&rodney

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:14 PM

A decent extension (4/$40) would be nice but I would also support going year to year with Berrios. 


#7 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 05:47 AM

Magnifying Berrios' second half swoons is the fact that many second half games were against American League Central teams, including the Tigers, the Royals and the formerly weaker Pale Hose.

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#8 Platoon

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 06:16 AM

When I saw the number that was separating the team and Berrios on arb I had to do the math twice. I think the spring training budget for Gatorade is higher than that.

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#9 amjgt

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 06:29 AM

I believe he really has confidence in himself and is willing to go year to year. As a Twins fan, I would love to see him locked down for 5 years

History is riddled with pitchers who had confidence in themselves but blew out their arm and were never the same.
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#10 srlarson

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:21 AM

can't think we are going to sign FA pitchers if we can't lock down our own.....find the number and get it done.....even #2 starter money......start @something like 5 mill this year, 10 mil 2021, 15 2022, 15 2023, 18 2024........5 for 63....... even if year 5 a team option......

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#11 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:53 AM

I have to think that the reason they haven't come to a 1 year agreement is that they are working on a long term deal. 375k is nothing when you're talking about a 1 year salary in the 4M range. It's certainly not worth any of the fallout risks from the FO's standpoint.... it's not like they are 1.5 apart or something like that...

 

Bottom line, I'll be a bit surprised if this one makes it to arbitration. If they cannot get a long term deal, I suspect it gets settled before the hearing. 

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#12 LewFordLives

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:54 AM

If Berrios stays healthy and puts up ok numbers he would absolutely make more money going year to year. But of course things happen, especially to pitchers. As someone mentioned above, it only makes sense for the Twins to do a longer deal if they get at least some kind of discount. So the ball is really in his court and he has to make a decision about how much risk he is willing to accept.
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#13 rdehring

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:39 AM

I want to see him as a part of the Minnesota Twins I follow for a long time.That starts by getting him inked to a nice extension.Doesn't have to be this winter, but sure would be nice.  


#14 Linus

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:02 AM

Well they are obviously not going to fix their rotation through FA so they better hang on to what they have. And the closer he gets to FA the harder it is going to be to sign him
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#15 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 11:42 AM

Whatever happens, I don't think it's smart to go to arbitration with him over that 375K. It just HAS to be that they are working on a deal with him, otherwise, to alienate your best pitcher would be foolish. 

 

 


#16 akmanak

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 12:32 PM

He does not have a good opinion of the Twins and will hit free agecny. You can't keep treading water and not trying to improve it.

#17 DocBauer

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 01:35 PM

You can't not sign an extension because he "might" get hurt. That would be true for anyone. Unless his demands are just nuts...and we have no idea what he and his agent are thinking...you absolutely put together something fair and get it done. I'd really like to see 5yrs.

These kind of deals work for both sides. The team gets a but of a discount, but the player has guaranteed money just in case. Win win. If he wants to bet on himself and a huge return on the open market in a few years, that's on him and not much you can do about it.

I think it gets done.
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#18 jorgenswest

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 06:09 PM

If the Twins sign him now, they assume all the risk of injury. If that doesn't buy them a substantial discount, there is no point. This is year 1 of arbitration for him - if he wants to wait, we can wait.


The risk of injury goes both ways. He would have more motivation to make a deal now than he would one year away from free agency.

Signing any pitcher long term carries a risk of injury. I would bet on Berrios because of his age and his work ethic. He keeps himself in great physical condition. When he gets that injury I am confident that he give every effort to getting back on the field and get there quicker.

I would pay the starting pitcher premium to lock up two more years of control. It doesn’t need to be team friendly. Pay up.

#19 saviking

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 12:07 PM

Signing an extension is like taking out insurance. Some people are risk averse and some people aren't .. There is nothing that obligates Berios to signing now vs banking on the come. If the Twins weren't trying to sign him to a longer deal I would be upset but they are so can't get upset at either Berios or the front office. 

 

We as fans can want it to happen but we as fans have no say over the matter.


#20 bunsen82

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 12:14 PM

The only thing the Twins have to consider is if Berrios would want to stay with the Twins long term.He could end up being a trade piece for another pitcher in the next year or two.