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  • Analyzing José Berríos' Trade Value


    Matthew Lenz

    Recently, our own Matthew Taylor wrote the time to trade José Berríos is right now. I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment and, in this article, will try to get an idea what a return could look like for the 26-year-old former top-100 prospect.

    Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    I will let you read Matthew’s article in full as he does a tremendous job of explaining why now is the time, but will add that I’ve been ready to move on simply due to his lack of development. Berríos has been the same pitcher since his first full season in 2017 where he’ll give you 5-6 strikeouts, 2-3 walks, and an ERA/FIP in the high 3’s, but he’ll have those couple performances that’ll leave you thinking he can be an “ace” in this league. In short, he hasn’t shown consistent effectiveness or efficiency to prove he can become an “ace” and, although exact details have never been leaked, he wants to get paid more than the Twins are willing to pay him. In my opinion, Berríos is a middle of the rotation arm (low-2/high-3) who likely wants to be paid like a frontline guy which I don't think they should do. This brings me back to Matthew’s article where he went on to say “Berríos possesses the talent and the years of control that should bring back a top-100 prospect (and then some) in return.” Inarguably, there is still some upside to Berríos, some people will quickly remind you that Scherzer took time to become Scherzer, and his durability cannot be understated, but can he really net a “top-100 prospect and then some”? Let's take a look.

    I went back to the last few seasons to find trades that involved starting pitchers who had the potential to make an immediate impact to a big league club. Before diving in, understand that no situation is going to be the same as contracts and years of team control can obviously vary, teams have been financially impacted by COVID-19, and the current CBA expires in December. All that said, it’s not completely apples and oranges to look at previous trades and I’d think teams would use that to help establish the market for Berríos.

    Padres acquire RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen and a PTBN from the Indians for C Austin Hedges, 1B/OF Josh Naylor, RHP Cal Quantrill, SS Gabriel Arias, IF Owen Miller and LHP Joey Cantillo

    Clevinger has had a much better, yet shorter, career compared to Berríos while also having an extra year of team control at the time of this trade, but on the flipside he’s also three-and-a-half years older than José. Even considering the age difference and now knowing that Clevinger is out with Tommy John surgery, I think most would take Clevinger over Berríos in a heartbeat. This deal included two young, MLB ready guys in Naylor and Quantrill but none of Arias, Miller, and Cantillo were or are currently top-100 guys, although Quantrill was as high as #38 back in 2017.

    Astros acquire SP Zack Greinke and $25MM from D-backs for Seth Beer, J.B. Bukauskas, Corbin Martin, and Josh Rojas

    Age is a big difference here, but the Astros were acquiring a former Cy Young and gold glove winner, bonafide ace, who still had two-and-a-half years left on his contract and received about a third of his remaining salary from the Diamondbacks. At the time of the deal, Seth Beer was the only top-100 prospect (coming in at #96) and entering the 2021 season none of the prospects the Diamondbacks received are ranked in the top-100 although three of the four are currently in the organizations top-30 prospects.

    Marlins trade SP Trevor Richards and RP Nick Anderson to Rays for opener Ryne Stanek and OF prospect Jesús Sánchez

    I almost view this trade as Richards for Sánchez as Anderson and Stanek were pretty equal, although comparing the two relievers minor league track record shows that Anderson maybe has the higher upside. Anyway, at the time of this trade, Richards had 45 starts under his belt, looked to be less talented than Berríos, but still had five plus years of team control before becoming a free agent. By giving up the two better players in the deal, the Marlins received the 51st best prospect in all of baseball in Sánchez but is currently unranked after batting .040 in 25 big league at-bats in 2020.

    Marlins trade SP Zac Gallen to D-backs for SS prospect Jazz Chisholm

    At the time of this deal, Gallen was emerging as a promising young arm for the Marlins sporting an ERA under 3 and a K/9 north of 10 and on the previous day had limited the bomba squad to one homerun over seven innings while striking out eight. He still had six plus years of team control and In return the Marlins received the 54th best prospect in baseball in Chisholm whose time clock hadn’t yet started as he had only reached AA. Now, Chisholm is competing for the NL Rookie of the Year with an OPS of .817 and wRC+ of 127.

    Mets trade SP Marcus Stroman and $1.55MM in cash to Blue Jays for Minor League pitchers Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson

    At the time of the deal, Stroman was having the best year of his career and was in the some spot as Berríos having one plus year of team control left before being a restricted free agent. Comparatively, Berríos and Stroman have had similar careers although Stroman strikes out and walks less batters while also being less susceptible to the long ball. In return, the Blue Jays received two prospects who were outside of the top-100 at the time of the deal, but to this point Woods-Richardson is the 74th ranked prospect in baseball while Kay has struggled in his first 52.2 big league innings.

    A’s acquire LHP Mike Minor from the Rangers for Dustin Harris, Marcus Smith, and $133K of international slot bonus money

    Stick with me here...I promise I’m not trolling the Berríos stan’s with this one…

    By age and contract, Mike Minor (32) and Jose Berríos are not super comparable BUT (here’s the kicker, for me) statistically they have been nearly the same pitcher throughout their careers and, moreover, ZiPS projects in two years Berríos will still basically be Mike Minor.

    Minor Career (thru 08/31/2020)

    Berríos

    3.98 FIP, 8.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9

    Career: 4.05 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9

    ZiPs 2023: 3.97 FIP, 9.22 K/9, 2.71 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9

    Minor, who was just a one month rental for the A’s, had a pretty poor 2020 which obviously hurt his trade value and thus didn’t even net two players that are ranked in the Rangers Top 30, let alone Major League Baseball’s Top-100. Moreover, the $133K in international slot bonus money obviously helps but doesn’t move the needle a ton either. Undoubtedly, a deal involving Berríos will net more than this but I thought it was interesting to see how similar these two pitchers are, and I think it really just proves Matthew Taylor’s original claim that we need to trade Berríos now.

    That said, after analyzing recent trades I don’t think I can confidently predict the Twins “should bring back a top-100 prospect (and then some) in return” just for Berríos. In the deals that netted a top-100 prospect there was more at play than simply getting a young-ish pitcher with a year plus of team control left:

    • Greinke is far superior to Berríos yet still only netted the #96 prospect in baseball, among other pieces.
    • Marlins sent high-ceiling reliever Nick Anderson to sweeten the deal for the Rays.
    • Gallen was much younger, had many more years of team control remaining, and had pitched almost as well through his first seven starts as Berríos ever has in any seven start stretch of his career.
    • Two years after the deal was completed, the Blue Jays can claim they received a top-100 prospect from the Mets.

    Especially with the unknown of the next CBA and the 2022 season, I think it’s realistic to think the Twins are going to need to add at least one additional sem-impactful piece (hmm...maybe a rent-a-reliever???) to a deal with Berríos to net a top-100 prospect. Next week, I will look into the teams that may be interested in a Berríos deal and some prospects the Twins could receive in return.

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    I keep asking the question - who replaces Berrios.   If a team is trading for him they will not give a SP of equal value.  He is not an Ace, but he is the best we have and we should lock him up instead.  Next year he and Maeda should be the only SP coming back.  What is the rest of the rotation?  Dobnak #3?  Thorpe, Duran?  Balazovic has lost this year so far and Canterino is still AA.  Hopefully they push Thorpe and Dobnak, but what else can we do besides sign some old vets and hope for the best like we did this year.  The market for pitchers is too rich for this clubs pocket book so we better continue to build from within.

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    7 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    I keep asking the question - who replaces Berrios.   If a team is trading for him they will not give a SP of equal value.  He is not an Ace, but he is the best we have and we should lock him up instead.  Next year he and Maeda should be the only SP coming back.  What is the rest of the rotation?  Dobnak #3?  Thorpe, Duran?  Balazovic has lost this year so far and Canterino is still AA.  Hopefully they push Thorpe and Dobnak, but what else can we do besides sign some old vets and hope for the best like we did this year.  The market for pitchers is too rich for this clubs pocket book so we better continue to build from within.

    Who replaced Snell and Morton in Tampa?  

    Who replaced Sale in Chicago?  There are many other examples of teams parting with very good players to acquire assets that were important for several years. 

    There is a blind insistence among some fans that we can just "lock up" a player.  It's not nearly that easy.  It would appear Berrios is insistent upon testing his market in free agency.  The only way we sign him now is a massive overpay and that just simply incompetent management. 

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    Just now, Major League Ready said:

    Who replaced Snell and Morton in Tampa?  

    Who replaced Sale in Chicago?  There are many other examples of teams parting with very good players to acquire assets that were important for several years. 

    There is a blind insistence among some fans that we can just "lock up" a player.  It's not nearly that easy.  It would appear Berrios is insistent upon testing his market in free agency.  The only way we sign him now is a massive overpay and that just simply incompetent management. 

    I would not argue with your reasoning, but I still look at the void if he is gone - he has started the most games, he has pitched enough innings to be able to secure 5 wins, only Pineda has a better SP era and Berrios has 56 innings compared to Pineda's 38.    He has 63 Ks and Maeda and Pineda have 39.   His 1.15 Whip is second only to Pineda and blows away all the others.  So trade, maybe, but I still want to know who fills in?  

    So Berrios will walk after next year, we have a history of just signing players for one year for the rotation so lets enjoy this year and next with a pitcher who is better than all the fill ins that the team keeps getting.  Even with our current struggles I want to win now and not get into a full rebuild. 

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    "... Berríos is a middle of the rotation arm (low-2/high-3) who likely wants to be paid like a frontline guy"

    Aye, there's the rub!  There are three possible outcomes here:

    1. Berríos improves to the point where the Twins can accommodate him (possible, but not likely)
    2. Berríos falls apart (less likely)
    3. Berríos' performance gradually falls off as he ages out of the League (most likely)

    Assuming scenario 3, considering a trade makes sense.  The next problem is not what the team could get, but what the team needs.  Surveying the positions, the question is, who is/could be on the market who represents an improvement?

    • A 1 - 1 trade for Berríos would probably not deliver bigger talent at catcher, corner or middle infield than what the team has now
    • Outfield?  The need for a bigger bat and better range is obvious, but which team will be selling a proven veteran that the Twins can swap into their assemblage of journeymen and walking wounded?  Any names come to mind?
    • Pitching?  Clearly the need is greatest here; but this is also the tightest market.
      • A true closer who instills fear and doubt in the opposing lineup cannot be had for Berríos alone
      • A journeyman long relief horse is more likely
    • Or, if management decides the team can no longer contend this season, do they bargain for a busload of prospects and sort through them for the next 3 - 5 years before we know if the deal was worth it?

    If Berríos alone were not enough in exchange for the talent the team wants, could Sano be made part of the package?

    Management has assuredly already asked all these questions.  Assuming the Twins are pulling out of their tailspin, if Berríos is traded for a reliever before mid-June we'll know that management is sticking to it's guns.  If he's still part of the club in July, then they either believe he's a piece of of a post-season drive or they still think they have negotiating leverage.

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    Prefer the option where the Twins extend Jose for at least three additional years.  But they need him to say yes or no now and if it is no, then explore the trade market.

    They aren't being forced to trade him as they could again consider it in the winter or a year from July.  So the return must be a younger version of Berrios, say someone currently in AA who should arrive by early summer 2022, and a second prospect of someone like Winder.  If they don't get it, Jose stays for the rest of the season and everyone sits down again and talks come December.

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    25 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    I would not argue with your reasoning, but I still look at the void if he is gone - he has started the most games, he has pitched enough innings to be able to secure 5 wins, only Pineda has a better SP era and Berrios has 56 innings compared to Pineda's 38.    He has 63 Ks and Maeda and Pineda have 39.   His 1.15 Whip is second only to Pineda and blows away all the others.  So trade, maybe, but I still want to know who fills in?  

    So Berrios will walk after next year, we have a history of just signing players for one year for the rotation so lets enjoy this year and next with a pitcher who is better than all the fill ins that the team keeps getting.  Even with our current struggles I want to win now and not get into a full rebuild. 

    Do the Twins have a clear replacement if they trade Berrios?  On paper most likely not, but at the same time at some others will take the mound if he is not there.  Will they be as good, who knows.  The question is, do you sign him long term, keep him another year and get very little value in a trade if needed, or keep and he walks for a draft pick, or trade him now for peak value most likely?

    To just say any replacements at this time would not be of equal value so you should not trade him is narrow minded.  One, we do not know if any of the prospects will do well or not.  Maybe all our prospects will do better than Berrios, maybe they will all be flops at MLB level, hopefully not.  However, if the FO feels they can accept whatever replacements and bring in greater value than what they would be losing, you do that.  If they feel any deal is not a good one and they keep riding Berrios in hopes of signing then you do that.  If you just look at replacing Berrios and if you cannot then you keep him for now, that is not a good way to look at it, because you may be missing improving other areas of need much more in a trade. 

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    33 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

    Who replaced Snell and Morton in Tampa?  

    Who replaced Sale in Chicago?  There are many other examples of teams parting with very good players to acquire assets that were important for several years. 

    There is a blind insistence among some fans that we can just "lock up" a player.  It's not nearly that easy.  It would appear Berrios is insistent upon testing his market in free agency.  The only way we sign him now is a massive overpay and that just simply incompetent management. 

    Tampa is the Cleveland of the south in terms of churning out high end pitching year after year. The Twins aren't there yet (hopefully soon 🤞).

    The White Sox were setting up for a multi-year rebuild. The Twins aren't there yet (hopefully not soon 🤞).

    The Twins coming out of the gates as a complete dumpster fire has put them in no man's land. If Berrios is asking for #1 type money and the Twins know they'll never meet his asking price they absolutely have to listen to offers. If there's nothing that really moves the needle then you hold onto him for this season as some of the young guys get called up and you can get a better idea of what you'll be next year.

    I have to imagine the current plan is to compete in 2022. If you don't have someone who can step in for Berrios (I think this is part of MikeLink's point) you don't ship him out just to ship him out. Having your offense ready to compete while shipping out your best pitcher isn't a great strategy. If Duran, Balazovic, et al come up and show they can help the team compete next year it's a different story. 

    If you're retooling for 2023 ship him out for future help. If you're rebuilding for 2024 and beyond (I really hope that isn't the plan) you trade him for future help. If you're trying to compete in 2022 you keep him unless you get an overwhelming offer.

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    This is one of the harder players to keep or part with.  With the way the season is going and the past 20 years, MY feeling is the Twins will never ever ever be a contender.  I would guess players like Berrios would prefer to get traded and with the history we have seen will improve on a different team.  I don't like to think that players would play at a level to get traded, but with all his talent I wonder how he feels about spending the next 2 prime years of his career being on a team that will never be a contender.  I don't think for many players it is all about money.  They probably dream of starting a WS game or hitting a game winning HR in game 7 of a play-off game.  Not going to happen here (sorry, I know that is negative).  I 100% believe Jose can be a #1 on any team, he may be deflated on this team and just trying to get through the next 2 years but bet he is hoping he gets traded sooner rather than later.   I don't like numbers just love watching the game.  I tune in every game Berrios pitches but lately he just looks average and that is hard for me because I will think he could win a Cy Young if he is on the right team.  I also loved Buxton. I still love watching him play WHEN he does.  

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    7 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    If you're retooling for 2023 ship him out for future help. If you're rebuilding for 2024 and beyond (I really hope that isn't the plan) you trade him for future help. If you're trying to compete in 2022 you keep him unless you get an overwhelming offer.

    We have had this same conversation almost every year since the 1990's.  Every year hoping they are retooling or rebuilding.  Yes we have a couple of AL Central League titles but that is it.  No playoff wins to me makes negates that tile.   

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    31 minutes ago, Trov said:

    Do the Twins have a clear replacement if they trade Berrios?  On paper most likely not, but at the same time at some others will take the mound if he is not there.  Will they be as good, who knows.  The question is, do you sign him long term, keep him another year and get very little value in a trade if needed, or keep and he walks for a draft pick, or trade him now for peak value most likely?

    To just say any replacements at this time would not be of equal value so you should not trade him is narrow minded.  One, we do not know if any of the prospects will do well or not.  Maybe all our prospects will do better than Berrios, maybe they will all be flops at MLB level, hopefully not.  However, if the FO feels they can accept whatever replacements and bring in greater value than what they would be losing, you do that.  If they feel any deal is not a good one and they keep riding Berrios in hopes of signing then you do that.  If you just look at replacing Berrios and if you cannot then you keep him for now, that is not a good way to look at it, because you may be missing improving other areas of need much more in a trade. 

    I am fine with all your reasoning - I would argue with Narrow minded since that is a judgment you are making because I am not 100% in agreement with you.  As I stated earlier - is there any difference between keeping Berrios until he walks or signing another FA for the same length of time and letting him walk?  Which has more value? 

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    2 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    I would not argue with your reasoning, but I still look at the void if he is gone - he has started the most games, he has pitched enough innings to be able to secure 5 wins, only Pineda has a better SP era and Berrios has 56 innings compared to Pineda's 38.    He has 63 Ks and Maeda and Pineda have 39.   His 1.15 Whip is second only to Pineda and blows away all the others.  So trade, maybe, but I still want to know who fills in?  

    So Berrios will walk after next year, we have a history of just signing players for one year for the rotation so lets enjoy this year and next with a pitcher who is better than all the fill ins that the team keeps getting.  Even with our current struggles I want to win now and not get into a full rebuild. 

    If the Twins are out of the race (I think the next week and a half will be very telling), then who cares who replaces him? It seems like he wants to be paid more than he is actually worth and if he is going to walk next year, you might as well get something for him in return. Pineda has been our best pitcher by nearly every metric except for IP and K/9.

    I'd like to see Dobnak and Thorpe given some run in the rotation to see what they're long term outlook is. Can they be successful enough to be backend rotation pieces, are they better suited for the bullpen, or are they not consistent enough to really be impactful MLB caliber pitchers. We've seen both do well and both struggle in small sample sizes. Balzovic, Duran, and Caterino can all compete for a spot next year and the Twins will likely need to add via FA as they will lose Shoemaker and Happ.

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    1 hour ago, VivaBomboRivera! said:

    "... Berríos is a middle of the rotation arm (low-2/high-3) who likely wants to be paid like a frontline guy"

    Aye, there's the rub!  There are three possible outcomes here:

    1. Berríos improves to the point where the Twins can accommodate him (possible, but not likely)
    2. Berríos falls apart (less likely)
    3. Berríos' performance gradually falls off as he ages out of the League (most likely)

    Assuming scenario 3, considering a trade makes sense.  The next problem is not what the team could get, but what the team needs.  Surveying the positions, the question is, who is/could be on the market who represents an improvement?

    • A 1 - 1 trade for Berríos would probably not deliver bigger talent at catcher, corner or middle infield than what the team has now
    • Outfield?  The need for a bigger bat and better range is obvious, but which team will be selling a proven veteran that the Twins can swap into their assemblage of journeymen and walking wounded?  Any names come to mind?
    • Pitching?  Clearly the need is greatest here; but this is also the tightest market.
      • A true closer who instills fear and doubt in the opposing lineup cannot be had for Berríos alone
      • A journeyman long relief horse is more likely
    • Or, if management decides the team can no longer contend this season, do they bargain for a busload of prospects and sort through them for the next 3 - 5 years before we know if the deal was worth it?

    If Berríos alone were not enough in exchange for the talent the team wants, could Sano be made part of the package?

    Management has assuredly already asked all these questions.  Assuming the Twins are pulling out of their tailspin, if Berríos is traded for a reliever before mid-June we'll know that management is sticking to it's guns.  If he's still part of the club in July, then they either believe he's a piece of of a post-season drive or they still think they have negotiating leverage.

    A little preview into my next article, but I would want them to go after a young pitcher who is close to ready to contribute at the ML level.

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    1 hour ago, MABB1959 said:

    This is one of the harder players to keep or part with.  With the way the season is going and the past 20 years, MY feeling is the Twins will never ever ever be a contender.  I would guess players like Berrios would prefer to get traded and with the history we have seen will improve on a different team.  I don't like to think that players would play at a level to get traded, but with all his talent I wonder how he feels about spending the next 2 prime years of his career being on a team that will never be a contender.  I don't think for many players it is all about money.  They probably dream of starting a WS game or hitting a game winning HR in game 7 of a play-off game.  Not going to happen here (sorry, I know that is negative).  I 100% believe Jose can be a #1 on any team, he may be deflated on this team and just trying to get through the next 2 years but bet he is hoping he gets traded sooner rather than later.   I don't like numbers just love watching the game.  I tune in every game Berrios pitches but lately he just looks average and that is hard for me because I will think he could win a Cy Young if he is on the right team.  I also loved Buxton. I still love watching him play WHEN he does.  

    I know this is your own opinion/speculation but I strongly disagree that he is "deflated on this team". If that were to be the case, he would be hurting his own cause as teams are going to pay him less based on his previous statistics. Further, if there was evidence of those that is going to limit his market as some teams (I hope the Twins included) would stay away from a guy that doesn't put his best foot forward.

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    10 minutes ago, Matthew Lenz said:

    If the Twins are out of the race (I think the next week and a half will be very telling), then who cares who replaces him? It seems like he wants to be paid more than he is actually worth and if he is going to walk next year, you might as well get something for him in return. Pineda has been our best pitcher by nearly every metric except for IP and K/9.

    I'd like to see Dobnak and Thorpe given some run in the rotation to see what they're long term outlook is. Can they be successful enough to be backend rotation pieces, are they better suited for the bullpen, or are they not consistent enough to really be impactful MLB caliber pitchers. We've seen both do well and both struggle in small sample sizes. Balzovic, Duran, and Caterino can all compete for a spot next year and the Twins will likely need to add via FA as they will lose Shoemaker and Happ.

    Are you prepared to punt 2022 as well? Who’s going to replace Berrios’ 3 WAR baseline that he provides? If there’s any desire to compete in 2022 he needs to stay. 

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    We have had many players set to be stars, don't live up to the Twins expectations get traded and end up being much better on their new team.  I don't think it would hurt his value as a player and most teams would love to have him.  It could hurt him $$$ wise but like I said I do not think it is all about money for all players.  

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    The Twins will have enough payroll flexibility with the salaries coming off the books and an assumed increase back to the $130-140 range to compete for a top FA starter and a FA closer this off-season. The offense is pretty well set except for DH. There's no reason they can't compete in 2022.

    I would offer Berrios 5/$110 this offseason. If he refuses, I would only trade him if blown away by the offer. Otherwise we keep him and try to compete in 22. If that doesn't happen, trade him one year from now. I don't think the difference in what you get now vs next year is worth it.

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    2 hours ago, MABB1959 said:

    but with all his talent I wonder how he feels about spending the next 2 prime years of his career being on a team that will never be a contender.  I don't think for many players it is all about money. 

    Yes we have a couple of AL Central League titles but that is it. 

    What teams do you think qualify as contenders in player's minds? Do all players only want to play for NY, Boston, and the Dodgers? Tampa? Houston? Who fits the contender criteria? If the Twins had won 2 playoff games over the last 2 years would that change Berrios' mind? What if they won 1 series then got swept? Is he, or any current player, supposed to care about the early 2000's Twins teams? Should any current player care about the Twins teams before Falvine and Rocco took over? Should any player looking at their 2022 employment care about anything other than what that 2022 and forward team looks like? Should Hosmer have stuck with the World Series winning Royals on a discount instead of taking the money from the Padres? The Royals previous playoff performances were quite a bit better than the Padres.

    I agree it isn't all about money to all players, but what is the discount he's willing to take to go to a "contender?" If he could get 5 years $110m from the Twins would he take 5 years $90m to go to the Dodgers instead? What about 5 years $100m to the Yankees? Is he going to be maybe the first player ever to take a discount to go to a large market team? It's all good and well to think it's not all about money, but I don't know that you can find too many players, if any, in Berrios' talent level that took discounts to go to contenders. Most contenders are contenders because they pay what the non-contenders won't or are smart enough not to pay someone like Berrios #1 money when he isn't a #1 on a contending team.

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    1 hour ago, Matthew Lenz said:

    If the Twins are out of the race (I think the next week and a half will be very telling), then who cares who replaces him? It seems like he wants to be paid more than he is actually worth and if he is going to walk next year, you might as well get something for him in return. Pineda has been our best pitcher by nearly every metric except for IP and K/9.

    I'd like to see Dobnak and Thorpe given some run in the rotation to see what they're long term outlook is. Can they be successful enough to be backend rotation pieces, are they better suited for the bullpen, or are they not consistent enough to really be impactful MLB caliber pitchers. We've seen both do well and both struggle in small sample sizes. Balzovic, Duran, and Caterino can all compete for a spot next year and the Twins will likely need to add via FA as they will lose Shoemaker and Happ.

    I think the question comes down to what the goals are in 2022. Are they trying to compete? If they're trying to compete why try to add via FA when you already have a pitcher who is better than anyone the team is likely to sign from FA? Dobnak and Thorpe are going to get plenty of run this year. The starting staff has been surprisingly healthy, but they're not going from 60 IP last year to 160 IP this year without some IL stints and time off.

    Bullpen spots are easily opened up on this team this year to get Balazovic, Duran, Canterino, or whoever else some time in the bigs. Some time in the big league pen to get their feet wet this year and increase their innings is entirely possible and probably likely. I'd be shocked to see any minor leaguers come up and take over real rotation spots this year, but they're going to have to stretch them out. That also ties into relying on a group of guys who will be coming off low inning counts (for a SP) to compete for true rotation places next year. 

    So if the Twins are trying to compete next year they're going to want Berrios. Not to mention there's no reason at all to assume he wants to be paid more than he is actually worth. Maybe he wants to be paid exactly what he's worth and the Twins have tried to get him for less than that. Or maybe he thinks he can build his worth up by having a Trevor Bauer type contract year. A player not signing an extension before or during arbitration years doesn't at all mean they're asking for more than they're worth.

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    59 minutes ago, howeda7 said:

    The Twins will have enough payroll flexibility with the salaries coming off the books and an assumed increase back to the $130-140 range to compete for a top FA starter and a FA closer this off-season. The offense is pretty well set except for DH. There's no reason they can't compete in 2022.

    I would offer Berrios 5/$110 this offseason. If he refuses, I would only trade him if blown away by the offer. Otherwise we keep him and try to compete in 22. If that doesn't happen, trade him one year from now. I don't think the difference in what you get now vs next year is worth it.

    I think this last sentence is the point that I disagree with.

    Obviously nobody wants to trade Berrios, and the team would be worse off without him, but the difference in a trade package this year (when he has 1.5 years left) vs trading him next year (when he only has half a season left) should be a BIG difference.

    I'll defer to Matthew's next article for more specifics, but just completely ball parking here: trading him this year might mean obtaining two prospects that become top 10 in the Twins system, while trading him next year might only net something closer to one in the top 10-15 and one in the top 30 (e.g., obtaining players the caliber of Balazovic + Canterino is MUCH different than Enlow + Luis Rijo).

    [note that I just made these examples up, and the values may be way off. The point is that the difference between trading Berrios this year and next will be very significant]

     

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    Meh.  The Twins got essentially nothing out of trading someone named Johan Santana, so what would they get for Berrios?  If the Twins can turn this into the Frank Viola Trade Mk. 2, go for it, but that's not going to happen.

    Berrios's absence would be noticeable and not in a good way.

    Berrios is cheap now, so trade him now so someone else can get his production on the cheap instead of the Twins because he will be more pricey in two years?  Doesn't thinking like that give you a headache?

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    1 hour ago, Dodecahedron said:

    Meh.  The Twins got essentially nothing out of trading someone named Johan Santana, so what would they get for Berrios?  If the Twins can turn this into the Frank Viola Trade Mk. 2, go for it, but that's not going to happen.

    Berrios's absence would be noticeable and not in a good way.

    Berrios is cheap now, so trade him now so someone else can get his production on the cheap instead of the Twins because he will be more pricey in two years?  Doesn't thinking like that give you a headache?

    Watching Berrios inefficiently pitch less than six innings through most starts gives me more of a headache  than making sure I get value out of Berrios if he is going to walk anyway does.

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    There has to be a specific reason to trade Jose Berrios or the Twins have him until he is a free agent.

    Who are those players worth trading for and would any team give up a young player? I would like to hear some names suggested and these might not even be actionable. San Diego wants to win. They have the players they want mostly. I'll trade Berrios, Thorpe, and Sands for C. J. Abrams and Ryan Weathers. SD might not consider (and Twins either) but what are people thinking? I'm not interested in releasing Jose for anything less than top talent.

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    5 hours ago, Matthew Lenz said:

    I know this is your own opinion/speculation but I strongly disagree that he is "deflated on this team". If that were to be the case, he would be hurting his own cause as teams are going to pay him less based on his previous statistics. Further, if there was evidence of those that is going to limit his market as some teams (I hope the Twins included) would stay away from a guy that doesn't put his best foot forward.

     

    I agree, but also feel like his point is that Berrios could really blossom in another organization around different talent. I think thats possible, though not a certainty, and given his age his best seasons should be over the next few years regardless where he's plays.

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    3 hours ago, Matthew Lenz said:

    Watching Berrios inefficiently pitch less than six innings through most starts gives me more of a headache  than making sure I get value out of Berrios if he is going to walk anyway does.

    Your impression differs from reality.  Pull up his stats and take a look.

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    This is what we are talking about here.

    1. The Twins trade Berrios now, because he will eventually be a free agent*, gets 2 or 3 prospects.  
    2. Another team gets him and is thrilled about getting a year of his production at his salary.
    3. That team then trades him before he becomes a free agent, gets 2 or 3 prospects.  These prospects will be at least as good as the prospects they gave the Twins.  

    The smart team is the second team in this transaction.  This is not a smart move by the Twins.  Berrios currently does not have an expensive contract, so he's not going to the high-power teams who can afford him.  His most likely landing spot would be a smart team who would in turn flip him again.  Berrios's value is not going down.  Fringe competitors, which is a group the Twins are part of, will take Berrios any day of the week.

    Stop the madness before it starts.  :P

    *This is never a good reason to trade someone.  Every player will eventually be a free agent.  Break the Terry Ryan cycle.

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    The biggest problem with this whole idea is two fold:

    1] We really have no clue what Berrios is hoping for/expecting OR what the Twins have offered thus far. I mean, is he looking for $18-20M per? With his track record and being only 27yo with upside remaining, he's worth that.  Does he want $25M+ and 7-10 -years? Then you're talking crazy numbers.

    2] Do the Twins want to compete in 2022? If the answer is yes...and not blow things up...thdn you need a quality pitcher like Berrios and any "who cares who fills his spot" thinking is short sighted and dangerous. The Twins system has more than a few really good looking SP options on their way. And several of them could/shoukd see second half promotions this year. There is a really good chance a few them could be ready to audition late this season. But I can't see a contending club in 2022 just saying "oh, we think at least one of them will come through and shine and we'll be just fine". 

    And I don't buy the arguement either of "we won't pay thjs guy, so we'll trade him and just sign someone else". Huh?

    I know we're walking an uncomfortable and narrow line of 1yr of control left and will he or won't he re-sign, but without more idea of the numbers involved...and speculation of demands isn't a fair arguement...i feel any trade discussion is premature at best.

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    1 hour ago, Dodecahedron said:

    Your impression differs from reality.  Pull up his stats and take a look.

    In his career he's right around 50/50 which is admittedly better than I would have thought, but over the last two years 64% of his starts have been less than 6 innings. His career strike% and BB% are both below average.  He has great "stuff" but what limits his ceiling is his inability to consistently locate it.

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    20 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

    The biggest problem with this whole idea is two fold:

    1] We really have no clue what Berrios is hoping for/expecting OR what the Twins have offered thus far. I mean, is he looking for $18-20M per? With his track record and being only 27yo with upside remaining, he's worth that.  Does he want $25M+ and 7-10 -years? Then you're talking crazy numbers.

    2] Do the Twins want to compete in 2022? If the answer is yes...and not blow things up...thdn you need a quality pitcher like Berrios and any "who cares who fills his spot" thinking is short sighted and dangerous. The Twins system has more than a few really good looking SP options on their way. And several of them could/shoukd see second half promotions this year. There is a really good chance a few them could be ready to audition late this season. But I can't see a contending club in 2022 just saying "oh, we think at least one of them will come through and shine and we'll be just fine". 

    And I don't buy the arguement either of "we won't pay thjs guy, so we'll trade him and just sign someone else". Huh?

    I know we're walking an uncomfortable and narrow line of 1yr of control left and will he or won't he re-sign, but without more idea of the numbers involved...and speculation of demands isn't a fair arguement...i feel any trade discussion is premature at best.

    You hit the nail on the head, Doc. Notice how there isn’t a follow up how to replace Berrios in the rotation next year. Talk about short term thinking, just because the Twins haven’t been good in 2021.

     

    Finding someone via trade who could surpass 3 WAR Berrios would possibly require a better set of prospects than the return we get for Berrios. Attempting to replace that in free agency will result in more money and a player closer to 40 years old than 30. 
     

     

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    11 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

    You hit the nail on the head, Doc. Notice how there isn’t a follow up how to replace Berrios in the rotation next year. Talk about short term thinking, just because the Twins haven’t been good in 2021.

     

    Finding someone via trade who could surpass 3 WAR Berrios would possibly require a better set of prospects than the return we get for Berrios. Attempting to replace that in free agency will result in more money and a player closer to 40 years old than 30. 
     

     

    Yep. It feels like either "panic" thinking that 2021 is lost so might as well start a re-build, or, "we just don't like Berrios or believe in him".

    And that's not a shot at anyone. Just my interpretation on the subject.

    Again, we're walking a tightrope. You don't want to develop a quality arm...who still has potential...and then lose him for nothing but a draft pick. I get that. But I've always believed you keep what you have, when it's good unless the numbers just don't make sense. And we just don't know enough yet about those numbers.

    Also, we often debate about "going all in". Is it really so hard to see a few changes and tweaks to this team in the next off-season and see them as legitimate contenders in 2022? If so, then isn't keeping Berrios for another season, even if you risk losing him, part of "going for it"?

    Just tossing that out there. 

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