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:
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:
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:
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!