With Max Scherzer now likely headed to the Dodgers, Twins right-hander Jose Berrios becomes the clear top starter left on the trade market. The 27-year-old righty is earning $6.1MM in 2021, is controlled through 2022 via arbitration, and is in the midst of arguably his best season yet. Through 121 2/3 innings, Berrios has pitched to a 3.48 ERA with a strong 25.7 percent strikeout rate and an excellent 6.5 percent walk rate. Berrios has been as durable as they come, and while he might not be the bona fide, Cy Young-caliber ace that Scherzer is, he’s a clear option to start in a playoff game for most contenders.
It originally looked as though Berrios was a long shot to move, but the interest in him has been intense. The Athletic’s Dan Hayes reported yesterday that market for Berrios had exceeded the Twins’ expectations, making a deal increasingly likely. Virtually every contender or fringe contender has inquired, as you’d expect. Not all of them will remain in the mix as talks continue into the eleventh hour of deadline season, so with that in mind, we’ll run down today’s latest Berrios rumblings in this post…
- The Blue Jays “appear” to be the leading suitor for Berrios at the moment, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets.
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 SKOR North in the Twin Cities tweets that the Twins have at least four offers in hand, coming from teams on both coasts. The Padres, Wolfson adds, “will be in it until the end.” That meshes with last night’s report from AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, wherein he indicated that Berrios is now the Padres’ “primary target.”
- The Padres, Rays and Mets are among the teams still talking to Berrios this morning, per The Athletic’s Jayson Stark (Twitter link). The Twins’ asking price has been too steep for the Mets for weeks, and that appeared to still be the case last night as well. The Rays haven’t been extensively tied to Berrios for long, but MLB Network’s Jon Heyman listed them as one of the most aggressive clubs on Berrios last night. It’s been a whirlwind deadline for the Rays, who’ve added Nelson Cruz but also subtracted some notable pieces in Diego Castillo and Rich Hill. Berrios would immediately become Tampa Bay’s top starter, at least as long as Tyler Glasnow is out. Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that both the Rays and Blue Jays are still very much in the running.
- The Yankees and Mariners also remain in the mix for Berrios, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, who also notes that interest in Berrios has picked up even since last night (Twitter links). It’s been an active deadline in both the Bronx and Seattle, although the Yankees have yet to address their starting pitching. Seattle has added Tyler Anderson, but he’s a rental and more of a back-of-the-rotation arm. Beyond that, with myriad injuries throughout their expected starting staff, the Mariners could certainly use multiple starters.