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Trade Deadline SZN: 3 Trade Proposals for José Berríos


We are exactly one month away from the 2021 MLB trade deadline, and the Minnesota Twins figure to be active participants in the trade market. One player to keep an eye on is José Berríos. Who could the Twins get back in return?

In his second to last season of arbitration, José Berríos has been having another José Berríos-type season. Through 15 starts, Berríos owns a 3.41 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, both numbers that would be career bests for him. Berríos has been an extremely consistent and reliable starter for the Twins all season, and the sports books reflect that, as Berríos is on the board at +5000 to take home the American League Cy Young. Along with his strong play, Berríos makes for an intriguing trade candidate because of his age and years of control. At just 27 years old, teams might be optimistic that Berríos still has another level to reach, and with 1.5 years of control remaining, they will be able to hang onto him for enough time to realize that next level. For the Minnesota Twins, it would be tough to part with such a talented arm, but with as bad as they have been in 2021 and no guarantees about 2022, it might just be the most prudent move.

In laying out trade proposals for José Berríos, we will use Baseball Trade Values. BTV is a website that assigns a point total of “value” to all Major and Minor Leaguers, and based on those point values assesses whether a trade would be accepted or not. Baseball Trade Values is certainly not a perfect resource, but it gives an objective way to start the trade conversation and provide a starting point for a trade proposal. With that being said…

Trade Proposal #1:

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In the first hypothetical José Berríos trade, the Minnesota Twins would be making a deal with the devil, sending the right hander to the Bronx. The New York Yankees are struggling mightily right now as they currently find themselves 4th in the American League East with a record just three games above .500. The New York Yankees are never going to be satisfied with mediocrity and are always going to be pushing for contention, which would make a José Berríos trade extremely tantalizing for them.

In the proposed trade, the New York Yankees would send back to Minnesota Oswald Peraza, Luis Gil and T.J. Sikkema. The headliner of the deal would be Oswald Peraza, the 97th ranked prospect in baseball. Pereza is a slick-fielding shortstop, an area that the Minnesota Twins don’t have a ton of depth within their system outside of Royce Lewis who is no sure thing after undergoing an ACL repair this spring. Peraza has exceptional plate discipline and contact skills and could be the perfect pairing with Luis Arraez over the next six years.

In addition to Peraza, the Yankees would send back Luis Gil who, if you remember, was formerly with the Minnesota Twins and traded away in a trade for Jake Cave in 2018. Since being traded away, Gil has turned into a borderline top-100 prospect with immense upside. At just 23 years old, Gil posted a 2.64 ERA and a 14.7 K/9 in 30 innings in AA before earning a AAA promotion. Getting Gil back in the Twins organization would be a nice flip of the script for the Twins.

Finally, the Twins would also acquire T.J. Sikkema, a single-A right hander who ranks as the Yankees’ 16th best prospect. Sikkema is just 22 years old and still raw, but as a former first round pick in 2019, offers some nice upside that the Twins could use.

Trade Proposal #2:

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In the second trade proposal for the Minnesota Twins’ ace, the Twins would deal with the other New York baseball team, the Mets. After many years stuck in mediocrity, the New York Mets have broken out as a legit contender this year, racing out to a 41-34 start with a 3 game lead in the NL East. The New York market is always going to be one that wants to compete, which is why the Mets could certainly get aggressive at the trade deadline and pursue José Berríos.

Back from the Mets, the Twins could get a nice return in exchange for Berríos, as New York boasts some quality top-end prospect names. The headliner of the deal would be shortstop phenom, Ronny Mauricio, the 50th ranked prospect in baseball. Mauricio is extremely raw, as he is just 20 years old, but has as much upside as almost any prospect in baseball. Mauricio projects to be a franchise cornerstone at the shortstop position and is a prototypical 5-tool player who can run and field in addition to hitting the snot out of the ball. The Twins should be looking to get a top pitching prospect at the deadline this year, but Mauricio is the type of talent you just can’t turn away from, even if pitching is the bigger need.

To supplement the addition of a bat, the Minnesota Twins could push the New York Mets and try to get a top-100 pitching prospect from them as well, which would be right-hander Matt Allan. Allan projects as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and boasts a fastball that sits in the upper-90s, along with a devastating curveball. Unfortunately, Allan underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year and will miss the entire 2021 season and potentially part of 2022. The surgery for Allan certainly adds some risk to his profile, but also means that he can be had and the Minnesota Twins have shown in the past that they aren’t afraid of an injury reclamation project as they showed with Michael Pineda and Rich Hill in free agency in the past.

Trade Proposal #3:

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Not only are the Toronto Blue Jays competing in the best division in baseball, they also boast one of best farm systems in all of baseball, with the 7th ranked system in the league. The Blue Jays are in the rare position where they are ready to compete and also have such great prospect talent that they can afford to part with names in order to acquire a name like José Berríos who could help lead them to the playoffs each of the next two seasons.

The headliner in a Berríos trade to Toronto would be right handed pitcher, Simeon Woods-Richardson, the 68th ranked prospect in baseball. Woods-Richardson has been shooting up prospect lists over this past season as he started his 2021 campaign in AA with a 2.16 ERA and 39 strikeouts over his first 6 starts. Woods-Richardson stands tall at 6-foot-3 and can pump his fastball up to 95 miles per hour. SWR is a name that could turn into a top of the rotation starter sooner rather than later and could be the ideal replacement for someone like José Berríos, who has no guarantees of staying in Minnesota past his arbitration.

Additionally, the Toronto Blue Jays would send back their 8th and 9th ranked prospects in 20-year-olds, Miguel Hiraldo and Adam Kloffenstein. Hiraldo is a middle infield prospect whose long term position could end up being third base, but owns impressive power and bat-to-ball skills and could one day be a middle of the order bat. Kloffenstein is still raw in A+, but is a former 3rd round pick with a 4-pitch repertoire who projects as a middle of the rotation starter one day.

Which of the 3 trades above is of most interest to you? Do you think these are fair values for José Berríos? What other trade ideas can you think of? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!

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I will start by saying I know I am a minority of one in this discussion, but I will never understand the current baseball mindset that says all you can hope for in trading proven quality major league talent is a package of 2 or 3 minor leaguers who may or may not ever see a major league field (Allan, for instance may or may not come back from Tommy John).  I am old enough to remember getting something for something, rather than getting hope for something.  I understand the situation with Berrios, as well as Buxton, Rogers, and even Duffy, all being free agents after next year.  You can only commit so much money to so many players, and you attempt to get something before you get nothing.  But hope is like being in limbo between something and nothing.  I say, and will always say, prospects are fine if they come with at least some semblance of current major league talent, even if it is not equal.  Loading up the farm with "prospects" (pick a number and assign it to them) used to come through the draft, not by sending away proven talent for someone else's draft picks.  Get the Yanks or the Mets to cough up a decent reliever and give us a little hope in the deal, just not as much.  Berrios in particular is too valuable to send packing for just hope; someone will give an actual player as well as hope if we don't back down.   But then, I don't read the computer printouts, so I don't expect anyone to listen to me.  :)

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Marcus Stroman was traded for a AAA starter and high A starter (i.e., one of the pitchers above!)......the Twins should expect a similar return for Berrios. They were numbers 4 and 6 (give or take) in the Mets' system when dealt. Fangraphs had a 45+ FV on SWR at the time of the deal.....

I think SWR is advanced beyond that now (50FV this year, and in a higher league)....I'm guessing IF they would deal him, you'd get SWR and something around what is projected above....but I don't know if TOR would deal him at this point. IF they Twins don't think they can sign him, it would be a decent-good deal, not one to blow you out of the water, but likely fair.

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8 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Marcus Stroman was traded for a AAA starter and high A starter (i.e., one of the pitchers above!)......the Twins should expect a similar return for Berrios. They were numbers 4 and 6 (give or take) in the Mets' system when dealt. Fangraphs had a 45+ FV on SWR at the time of the deal.....

I think SWR is advanced beyond that now (50FV this year, and in a higher league)....I'm guessing IF they would deal him, you'd get SWR and something around what is projected above....but I don't know if TOR would deal him at this point. IF they Twins don't think they can sign him, it would be a decent-good deal, not one to blow you out of the water, but likely fair.

"If the Twins don't think they can sign him" makes the deal far better than decent to good because the alternative is getting nothing, zero, bumpkis.

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5 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

"If the Twins don't think they can sign him" makes the deal far better than decent to good because the alternative is getting nothing, zero, bumpkis.

Well, there are likely other deals to be made....that's how you'd compare them. Also, if they keep him, they get the value he provides this year and next....they may or may not also get a comp. pick. 

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2 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Well, there are likely other deals to be made....that's how you'd compare them. Also, if they keep him, they get the value he provides this year and next....they may or may not also get a comp. pick. 

Wow.  Maybe a comp pick for giving away Berrios for nothing.  Now I feel a lot better.

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41 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

I seriously doubt they would not trade Pearson for Berrios straight up.

Depends on how many teams come calling for Berrios, and how serious the FO can make those calls sound to the Jays.

Callis has been talking about Pearson for Berrios. I would hope for more given Pearson's injury history, myself.

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1 hour ago, Mark G said:

I will start by saying I know I am a minority of one in this discussion, but I will never understand the current baseball mindset that says all you can hope for in trading proven quality major league talent is a package of 2 or 3 minor leaguers who may or may not ever see a major league field (Allan, for instance may or may not come back from Tommy John).  I am old enough to remember getting something for something, rather than getting hope for something.  I understand the situation with Berrios, as well as Buxton, Rogers, and even Duffy, all being free agents after next year.  You can only commit so much money to so many players, and you attempt to get something before you get nothing.  But hope is like being in limbo between something and nothing.  I say, and will always say, prospects are fine if they come with at least some semblance of current major league talent, even if it is not equal.  Loading up the farm with "prospects" (pick a number and assign it to them) used to come through the draft, not by sending away proven talent for someone else's draft picks.  Get the Yanks or the Mets to cough up a decent reliever and give us a little hope in the deal, just not as much.  Berrios in particular is too valuable to send packing for just hope; someone will give an actual player as well as hope if we don't back down.   But then, I don't read the computer printouts, so I don't expect anyone to listen to me.  :)

I am in agreement.  Look at the record we have of keeping and promoting minor leaguers.  I want Berrios to stay.  Figure it out Twins.  This is MLB.  If he is valuable to others he is valuable to us.  All our ranked prospects keep going on IL or floating up and back while marginal vets fill the BP roles.  I want real value.  I know there are stats out there, but none of this makes sense to me.  I do not want a full rebuild, I do not want another decade of mediocrity.  

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40 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Well, there are likely other deals to be made....that's how you'd compare them. Also, if they keep him, they get the value he provides this year and next....they may or may not also get a comp. pick. 

I too think we underestimate the value a good player - especially a good pitcher provides for a year and a half of service.  Half the FA pitchers last no more than two years.  The prospects often don't make it in two years.  Big deal if we get good value and lose him for nothing.  All those great prospects floating around in MiLB are not moving us to  a pennant.  Players come up, get injured, go as FA.  that is the way it is.  But we have a good player and we want to move backwards because in two years we might not get value.  The value is now and anything else is speculation. 

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44 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

I am in agreement.  Look at the record we have of keeping and promoting minor leaguers.  I want Berrios to stay.  Figure it out Twins.  This is MLB.  If he is valuable to others he is valuable to us.  All our ranked prospects keep going on IL or floating up and back while marginal vets fill the BP roles.  I want real value.  I know there are stats out there, but none of this makes sense to me.  I do not want a full rebuild, I do not want another decade of mediocrity.  

You speak as if not signing Berrios means certain failure.  Is this what happened when the Rays traded Snell and let Morton go to free agency.  How about the Astros losing Cole in free agency and Verlander to injury.  Boston seems to be doing fine after trading Betts.  These losses are all more impactful than Berrios and you fail to acknowledge that the money they would have spent on Berrios can be spent elsewhere.  It also difficult to argue that post 22 the Twins will be in a better position if they get value in the trade and spend the money on an equivalent player.  Is it hard to sign equivalent players.  Of course.  That does not mean it can't be done.

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34 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

You speak as if mot signing Berrios means certain failure.  Is this what happened when the Rays traded Snell and let Morton go to free agency.  How about the Astros losing Cole in free agency and Verlander to injury.  Boston seems to be doing fine after trading Betts.  These losses are all more impactful than Berrios and you fail to acknowledge that the money they would have spent on Berrios can be spent elsewhere.  It also difficult to argue that post 22 the Twins will be in a better position if they get value in the trade and spend the money on an equivalent player.  Is it hard to sign equivalent players.  Of course.  That does not mean it can't be done.

I will wait to see - based on the history of Twins signings my optimism is slipping.  I speak from the perspective that the old cliche's about birds in hand are still applicable - as a bird watcher I can work with that.  

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The front office is not taking back Luis Gil. That is essentially admitting they screwed up and dealt away a top 100 pitching prospect for Jake Cave, ownership would absolutely question their decision making ability. Swap him out for Luis Medina and you got a deal.

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I am firmly in the camp of not trading Berrios. If the Twins want to compete next year, and I believe they can, they will need pitching. Piecing together a good rotation via free agency is difficult, and the farm system is not exactly stacked with blue chip pitching prospects. Wouldn't it be better to have Berrios play out his contract and then take the comp pick if he decides to walk? This reminds me of the Johan Santana situation. They ended up trading him for a bunch of prospects that did little for the Twins and then missed the playoffs by two games that year. 

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11 minutes ago, LewFordLives said:

I am firmly in the camp of not trading Berrios. If the Twins want to compete next year, and I believe they can, they will need pitching. Piecing together a good rotation via free agency is difficult, and the farm system is not exactly stacked with blue chip pitching prospects. Wouldn't it be better to have Berrios play out his contract and then take the comp pick if he decides to walk? This reminds me of the Johan Santana situation. They ended up trading him for a bunch of prospects that did little for the Twins and then missed the playoffs by two games that year. 

No it would be better to get a more sure thing in a trade. 

This team has one starting pitcher signed for next year that anyone trusts. That's not realistic.

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Wonder what we could get from the Dodgers with Bauer likely getting a long suspension? 

As for the deals above, I like the Jays and then the Mets best. Never deal with the devil and I'd prefer Berrios go to the NL 

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12 hours ago, RonCoomersOPS said:

Depends on how many teams come calling for Berrios, and how serious the FO can make those calls sound to the Jays.

Callis has been talking about Pearson for Berrios. I would hope for more given Pearson's injury history, myself.

My thought was that if Pearson's health is a real concern, we don't want him.  I defer to the specialists who get paid to advise on such matters.  If they can get a healthy Pearson or someone like him, great.  That's the kind of trade that builds a contender.  Like it or not, he is gone if they get that kind of return.

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12 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

You don't get better when your best players are playing for other teams.

 

  1. Berrios is not our best player, at least not according to Fwar.  He has never been our best player.  He had one year where he was among the highest Fwar.  That was 2019 when there were 4 other players with slightly more or slightly less.
  2. Any team where Berrios is the best player is highly unlikely to be a contender. I guess if you had 12 or 15 guys playing at his level, you might have a contender but generally it might be a sign it’s time for a new plan.

Perhaps more to the point, I just listed the teams that lost their best player (or two) and got better.  There are many other examples like Chicago who without question traded their best player(s) and built a better team.  There are numerous other examples throughout history.  Apparently the norm for sports fans is to just ignore any hard fact that gets in the way of what they like to believe.  There is an old lyric “there is none so blind as he who will not see”.  Sports fans can ignore even the most blatant of examples if it suits their preferred narrative.  

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The Twins will get one top 100 prospect for Berríos. His career numbers have him as a middle rotation reliable guy. We either trade him or Buxton.  There’s no chance they sign both. Time to pull that fire alarm. 

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15 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

I seriously doubt they would not trade Pearson for Berrios straight up.

Oh they would probably do that. I was just saying you aren't getting both for just Berríos.

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