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  • Would You Do This Trade? José Berríos to the Mets for …


    Tom Froemming

    The Minnesota Twins are believed to have set a very high asking price for José Berríos. Though they seem inclined to keep him around, that doesn’t mean they’re not listening to offers. But is there a way to trade Berríos without completely gutting the 2022 rotation?

    Image courtesy of © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Danny Abriano of SNY wrote an article yesterday on Berríos as a potential fit for the Mets. In it, he makes a lot of great points on how valuable José could be to that club and how the Mets are a team particularly well-suited to meet the Twins’ high asking price.

    The Mets are currently in first place in the NL East, but hold just a 2.5-game advantage over the Phillies, who are just a game up on Atlanta and 2.5 games up on Washington. It’s a tight race. New York was expecting to have plenty of pitching by now, but Carlos Carrasco and Noah Snydergaard have both experienced setbacks in their attempts to rehab from injuries.

    It doesn’t seem like either of those two are in the Mets’ long-term plans, either. Syndergaard is a free agent at the end of this year and Carrasco has a $14 million option with a $3 million buyout. That’s especially notable because Marcus Stroman is also a free agent after this season, leaving the Mets with some uncertainty in their 2022 rotation plans.

    That’s why Berríos seems like such a nice fit for them over someone like Jon Gray of the Rockies, who would just be a rental.

    So what’s in it for the Twins?

    Abriano suggests the package would need to be similar to what the Mets gave up for Marcus Stroman — Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson. He packages Tylor Megill and Robert Dominguez as a similar duo but thinks it would take something more like Megill and J.T. Ginn. Maybe even more than that.

    If you’re looking for prospects dripping with upside, this isn’t the kind of deal that’s going to get you going. The inclusion of Megill does make this very intriguing for anyone who’s not willing to sacrifice 2022. He’s already contributing to the Mets. Well, that’s actually underselling it.

    Like a lot of teams in 2021, the Mets have been decimated by injuries. That’s created an opening for Megill and he’s ran with it. He started this season dominating in Double A, moved up for three starts in Triple A and has been brilliant in five starts for the Mets.

    Megil, a 6-foot-7 right-hander, has pitched to a 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and has averaged 10.5 K/9 in 24 innings pitched. His fastball averages 94.6 mph and he pairs that with a slider and a changeup. He’s been sort of like a savior to their rotation, so why would the Mets trade him?

    Uncertainty. Megill is very much a pop-up prospect. He was drafted in the eighth round back in 2018 and came into this year ranked 21st in the Mets system according to MLB Pipeline and 25th by FanGraphs. Is this breakout for real, or will Megill, who turns 26 soon, prove to be a flash in the pan?

    As for Ginn, he was the high-rated prospect entering this year (sixth in the Mets’ system by MLB Pipeline and seventh by FanGraphs), but is still not cracking top-100 lists. Drafted out of Mississippi State in the second round in 2020, Ginn has a 2.56 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 8.1 K/9 as a 22-year-old in Low A. This is his first year back after recovering from Tommy John, so it’s quite possible the best is yet to come.

    For me, just Megill and Ginn would not be enough. It’s an intriguing starting point, though. Getting a pitcher you can plug right into the MLB rotation and a prospect who grades out similarly to someone like Matt Canterino gets you listening.

    If you’d prefer a higher-upside package, Twins Daily’s Matthew Taylor put together a package of shortstop Ronny Mauricio and right-handed pitcher Matt Allan, both consensus top-100 prospects. There were two other Berríos trade hypotheticals offered up in that article, which you can check out here.

    If you’re looking to build a package of your own, Twins Daily’s Thiéres Rabelo recently took a look at the fit between the Mets and Twins in a trade deadline piece that would be a great place to start.

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    9 hours ago, beckmt said:

    Are you sure the comp pick will survive the new CBA?

    I’m not sure it does but if my package is Allen, Dominguez and Megill or even add Mauricio in there for good measure. If that’s the package for Berrios I’m keeping Berrios for next year. If they keep him you know they’ll get offers for him over the winter and next year. It’s just that he’s more valuable right now. So if his value is at its height and that’s the package I’m getting I’m saying no and taking my chances. That’s what I’m saying. This package is very underwhelming

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    12 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

    It's peculiar to me that your go-to examples of bad FO decisions are, other than the Nelson Cruz signing, probably the two best decisions the FO have made to date, and are two moves that they would undoubtedly make again if given the chance,  I also have no idea why you think Lewis is somehow 3-4 years away--if not for the injury, he would probably be on this team now.  I see no reason that he won't debut next year, and probably be a starter by 2023 at the latest.

     

    I think it peculiar best I didn't do a good enough explaining my point. Nelson Cruz wasn't signed as a player to sustain success into the 2020's, so his signing and continued signings have a been a huge success,  but both the Maeda trade and Donaldson trades were made with the idea they could continue being in at the top of their division for the foreseeable future, and less than half way though their contracts, getting rid of them proves they failed at continued success, that is all I am saying. 

    (and yes somebody else pointed it out with Lewis, I was referring to 19.20,21,22, and sure I hope he is up next year but in reality 2023 looks like it will be the real start of his major league career and that is if he has no set backs in his recovery or struggles when he gets back to playing)

    Imagine if this season went a little different, Buxton, Garver, Pineda, didn't get hurt or missed less time, (Dobnak stayed the same) and the 2020's pitching free agents were average or at least not a complete embarrassment( Happ, Shoemaker, Colome) and the Twins were right in the thick of wild card or even the division, would everybody still want they to gut the major league team for a rebuild? I mean the free agents would still be free agents next year, Buxton, Berrios and Rogers would still be the following year, and Donaldson will still be on track to make 21,21 and 16 the next three years.

    And that is really my point this FO isn't going to bail on what they have been trying to build since they got here and that is sustained competitiveness, one freak year isn't going to change that, the haven't mortgaged the future for rentals and they aren't going to mortgage a season or more to rebuild, because that will have proved they have failed at sustained competitiveness,.

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    7 hours ago, Tim said:

    There's no way at all any team in baseball would walk from Megill, a pitcher who in a short sample has had success in the majors, a former first round pick, who by some was a top 100 prospect, and a projectable 19 year old who is throwing 99mph and showing progress developing solid secondary pitches vs a Comp Pick ..

    I guess I’m not a scout but it’s a small sample size and for Berrios I’m just not impressed yet with the return. Maybe he becomes the best pitcher in mlb. But his track record makes me wonder and I’m not sure I pull that deal at this time.

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    18 hours ago, Tibs said:

    No way. For a couple reasons.

    I simply think Berrios is worth much more than that. I don't think that is even close to fair trade value for him. I think he provides much more value to the Twins even if he pitches next year and walks in free agency.

    Secondly, and this is related to the first point, if I looked at the roster correctly for next year, then the Twins currently have 3 SP on salary for 2022. Two of those starters are Berrios and Dobnak. Dobnak has been terrible and obviously Berrios is gone if he's traded. That leaves Kenta Maeda, meaning the Twins almost literally don't have a starting rotation in 2022 if Berrios is traded. That's also leaving guys like Ober, Jax, and Barnes out, but I don't necessarily have the three of them as locks into the rotation. It seems to me in that scenario, if Berrios is traded, then we might as well trade just about everyone else.

     

    If the Astros can stay good after letting Cole go and the Rays can stay good after trading Snell and letting Morton go in free agency, I think the Twins can find a replacement for Berrios.  Of course, the astros also lost Verlander to injury.  It is probable that losing Berrios for 22 will hurt the team for one year.  Of course, it is possible they sign someone else from a deep FA pool next year.  On the other hand, not trading him will probably hurt the team for the 6-10 years after 2022.  So, I guess it just depends on how inclined the FO is to bet on contending in 2022.  I am betting they realize the odds of getting 3 more starters and completely revamping the BP is not a good bet.  Of course, they also need Buxton to stay healthy and replace Cruz's production and get a SS.  Not a bet I would make.

    I would bet that I can get some good pitching prospects for Berrios and Kepler.  Then, I would spend the next year and a half developing those guys and the plethora of current prospects at the MLB level.  Some starters and some converted to RPs.  Put another year experience under Kirilloff/Larnach.  Get Miranda up by mid-2022 and Lewis and/or Javier by the start of 2023.  I burn a year in 2022 when we are not going to truly contend but we look good for several years post 2022.

    Plus, if we develop a couple starters and a couple BP arms internally, we would have a considerable amount of money to sign a Berrios equivalent or better.  Now you have a far better team for several years  than you would holding on to the status quo and betting on everything turning around in 2022.

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    The Twins should be confident that the comp pick will remain and should have that in mind as they consider trading Berrios or Buxton.

    Neither side will have strong motivation to drop it. The union doesn’t like the penalty of losing a pick. That may be eliminated. I expect the comp pick to remain.

    Megill is 25 with a sample of 64 innings this years across three levels. His major league contribution is 24 innings. I don’t think there are any stats other than maybe some some pitch level that should be considered in projecting his future. Countless mediocre players have put up a really good stretch of innings. Looking at his 5 starts he has some pretty high pitch counts for some shorts starts. Does he have a put away pitch to close out at bats? Does he have enough to pitch to the top of a line up a third time? 

    Megill was drafted as a reliever out of college. He ranked the number 21 Met prospect. He is off to a very solid start at 25. The Mets have reason to be encouraged. Isn’t Tyler Duffey’s path from college reliever to very encouraging results across 9 starts in 2015 pretty similar? 

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    24 minutes ago, jorgenswest said:

    The Twins should be confident that the comp pick will remain and should have that in mind as they consider trading Berrios or Buxton.

    Neither side will have strong motivation to drop it. The union doesn’t like the penalty of losing a pick. That may be eliminated. I expect the comp pick to remain.

    Megill is 25 with a sample of 64 innings this years across three levels. His major league contribution is 24 innings. I don’t think there are any stats other than maybe some some pitch level that should be considered in projecting his future. Countless mediocre players have put up a really good stretch of innings. Looking at his 5 starts he has some pretty high pitch counts for some shorts starts. Does he have a put away pitch to close out at bats? Does he have enough to pitch to the top of a line up a third time? 

    Megill was drafted as a reliever out of college. He ranked the number 21 Met prospect. He is off to a very solid start at 25. The Mets have reason to be encouraged. Isn’t Tyler Duffey’s path from college reliever to very encouraging results across 9 starts in 2015 pretty similar? 

    Yes! This is what I’m saying! People enamored by Megill should remember and think about this comp! I’m not saying he doesn’t turn into a good SP. I’m just saying that his track record shows nothing of him being a dominant top of the rotation starter. If I’m getting him as the headliner with a few down the road lottery tickets that seems like a recipe for disaster if I’m trading my best top of the rotation pitcher at max value

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    13 hours ago, Tom Froemming said:

    That site is fun but it's not very accurate, especially for prospects. They have Gilberto Celestino valued at 8.2 and Jose Miranda at 1.6. 

    It was great in the offseason when they first launched and they were updating the prospects every week based on the plethora of prospect lists getting published, along with reader/fan feedback about the teams they followed. 

    It seems it has not gotten updated since opening day though and a lot of their prospect rankings are outdated.

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    1 hour ago, jorgenswest said:

    The Twins should be confident that the comp pick will remain and should have that in mind as they consider trading Berrios or Buxton.

    Neither side will have strong motivation to drop it. The union doesn’t like the penalty of losing a pick. That may be eliminated. I expect the comp pick to remain.

    I have the same feeling. The comp pick will likely remain in place. It should.

    It's the penalty applied to the team that signs the FA that needs eliminating, and it probably will be. It really doesn't make any competitive sense and only suppresses FA contracts...which is, of course, why the owners, who seem hell bent on minizing the enojoyment one gets from following MLB, love it.

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    4 hours ago, TNtwins85 said:

    Yes! This is what I’m saying! People enamored by Megill should remember and think about this comp! I’m not saying he doesn’t turn into a good SP. I’m just saying that his track record shows nothing of him being a dominant top of the rotation starter. If I’m getting him as the headliner with a few down the road lottery tickets that seems like a recipe for disaster if I’m trading my best top of the rotation pitcher at max value

    I'm certainly not enamored with him. If Megill was an obvious, dominant, top of the rotation starter, he'd be untouchable. The Twins would be starting that conversation with half their farm system. Like Berrios + Buxton + Lewis + Balazovic + Kirilloff for a dominant, top of the rotation starter with 6 years of team control.

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    16 hours ago, bean5302 said:

    His FIP is 3.72 which takes into consideration to the obvious LOB luck fueled 2.63 ERA and is almost as good as Berrios, albeit in a small sample size at the MLB level. Fangraphs shows a 38.7% FB rate, not a 58.2% rate you're quoting, and Megill is generating a lot of ground balls, which is nice to see. I hadn't looked into his exit velocity allowed, but I went ahead and did that now, too. Megill is 24th out of 461 in average exit velocity for pitchers with more than 50 batted ball events this year at 89.5mph. This low exit velocity and low barrel rate along with the high ground ball rate could help explain the lack of line drives allowed. That said, I did notice that even though Megill hasn't been allowing hitters to barrel up the ball well against him, he has a hard hit percentage is higher than average so I guess you could look at the hard hit percentage standalone and call that a red flag.

    I agree 94.6mph is below 95.0mph on his average fastball, though it feels a little disingenuous to be so concerned over 0.4mph.

    Megill is throwing strikes, not giving up a ton of hits and striking guys out. His success at the MLB level has followed solid production from the minors with no real hiccups and a fast promotion rate. Signs point to Megill potentially being better than Jose Berrios and the Mets have him under control for 6 years.

    FIP does not take into account strand rate--it only looks at HR's, BB's, K's, and IP.  As such, his LOB% is a concern--he's had extreme luck at not letting the base runners he puts on base come around to score; if that normalizes (which it probably will), he loses a lot of effectiveness.  Fangraphs 100% shows a 58.2% fastball rate (his page is linked below)--I'm not sure where you're getting 38.7%.

    The reason I mention his FB velocity is because most starters at best maintain velocity, but more often lose velocity as they age.  At almost 26, it is likely this is the hardest Megill will ever throw.  That is concerning for a guy who is overly-reliant on his fastball, and only has good-not-great velocity.  In other words, he has no margin for error; if he starts throwing 93 in a couple of years, he'll need to either make great progress on other pitches, or shift to the bullpen.

    The larger point that we should all consider--if Megill's numbers are comparable to Berrios', and there isn't significant downside risk, then why would the Mets give up 5.5 years of cheap team control for 1.5 years of expensive team control, let alone additional prospect capital?

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    7 minutes ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

    FIP does not take into account strand rate--it only looks at HR's, BB's, K's, and IP.  As such, his LOB% is a concern--he's had extreme luck at not letting the base runners he puts on base come around to score; if that normalizes (which it probably will), he loses a lot of effectiveness.  Fangraphs 100% shows a 58.2% fastball rate (his page is linked below)--I'm not sure where you're getting 38.7%.

    The reason I mention his FB velocity is because most starters at best maintain velocity, but more often lose velocity as they age.  At almost 26, it is likely this is the hardest Megill will ever throw.  That is concerning for a guy who is overly-reliant on his fastball, and only has good-not-great velocity.  In other words, he has no margin for error; if he starts throwing 93 in a couple of years, he'll need to either make great progress on other pitches, or shift to the bullpen.

    The larger point that we should all consider--if Megill's numbers are comparable to Berrios', and there isn't significant downside risk, then why would the Mets give up 5.5 years of cheap team control for 1.5 years of expensive team control, let alone additional prospect capital?

    FIP is not based on ERA and doesn't use the LOB% as a factor so the strand rate is utterly irrelevant. FIP is a tool used to create a predictive/expected ERA based on past metrics without considering defense or base running, etc. If Megill's LOB% was 0% or 100%, it would literally make no impact to his FIP. His FIP is what you might expect his ERA should be based on how many people got on base and how they reached.

    In regard to the FB rate, I assumed you were talking about fly ball rate, not fastball rate. My apologies, I misunderstood your intent. Well, looking at age, velocity and fastball rate, Berrios is age 27 throws his (2) fastballs at at average of 94mph and is 56% fastball. Megill is age 26 (basically) thows his (1) fastball at 95mph and has a 58% fastball rate. They're essentially the same except Megill throws a tick harder and is a year younger so I would argue the risk here is pretty similar based on your critera.

    I agree. There's no way in hell the Mets are trading Megill for Berrios right now and that was my point in posts above somewhere :) I'd expect the pre-arb pitcher the Twins could target as being David Peterson, but folks are already upset with the idea of getting Megill so I'd expect them to lose their excrement over a trade including Peterson haha

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    7 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

    t of college. He ranked the number 21 Met prospect. He is off to a very solid start at 25. The Mets have reason to be encouraged. Isn’t Tyler Duffey’s path from college reliever to very encouraging results across 9 starts in 2015 pretty similar? 

    I really don't know enough about Megill, but Duffey, as a starter, still only had two pitches, a curveball and a poor fastball which topped out at about 90MPH. Looking at it a bit removed from those years now, Ryan and Molitor were absolutely insane giving Duffey 36 starts.

    MeGill looks to throw quite a bit harder and has a FB/Slider/Change. He's clearly more starter-ready.

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