Many assumed the Twins may consider dealing Byron Buxton and/or Jose Berrios before the upcoming trade deadline. The team is out of contention and there are no guarantees the team will be able to put the pieces back in place for next year. However, reports serviced over the weekend that the team is not necessarily inclined to trade players under team control for 2022.
Minnesota was supposed vying for a third consecutive AL Central title this year, so the front office may be thinking that it will be easy to retool this winter. Maybe 2021 is just a hiccup and Minnesota will be battling Chicago at the top of the division next season. Buxton and Berrios certainly make the Twins better for 2022, but there are no guarantees either will be back for 2023.
Between the two players, the Twins may have a better shot at signing Buxton to a long-term extension. Ken Rosenthal reported the Twins latest offer is more than the $70 million deal Aaron Hicks signed with the Yankees back in 2019. It also would include escalators and incentives to add to the contract’s overall value.
Any Buxton extension comes with risk. This is a player that clearly can play at an MVP level, but questions about his health have followed him throughout his professional career. According to Rosenthal’s report, the Twins will try and trade Buxton, who is currently on the IL, if he turns down their current offer. That trade could happen before the deadline or this offseason.
An extension for Jose Berrios might be out of the question at this point. Berrios made it clear to the Star Tribune that he is looking for a big pay day and his team wans to “see what the best deal is going to be.” Minnesota would likely need to wow him with an offer at this point to get an extension signed.
Darren Wolfson reported in his most recent podcast that the Twins will need to go higher than $20 million per season to keep Berrios. He has been one of the most durable pitchers during his big-league career as he ranks 10th in innings pitched and 12th in starts since 2017. He’s also 27-years old, which is when many pitchers enter their prime.
It seems unlikely for the Twins to win a bidding war for Jose Berrios if he and his management team want to go to free agency. This is a player that went through the arbitration hearing process back in 2020 because he was aware of the business side of the game. Now he wants a big pay day so other pitchers of his caliber can make more money in the future.
Which player to do feel is most likely to be in a Twins uniform beyond 2022? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.