The Minnesota Twins and their fans have had a rough year.
Minnesota entered the 2021 season with legitimate playoff hopes, but things have not gone to plan.
The Twins are currently 44-62, and they just sold away some key players at the trade deadline.
Among those players was starting pitcher Jose Berrios.
Many fans were upset by the Twins’ decision to let the 27-year-old go, but ultimately, it was a good move.
Today, we’re going to discuss why.
Let’s get started.
His Value Was At A High
Berrios has always been a solid big-league pitcher, but he has never looked as good as he has this season.
Over 20 starts with Minnesota this year, he pitched to a 3.48 ERA, 3.57 FIP, and 1.04 WHIP before being traded.
He entered the year with a career 4.19 ERA, so it’s very possible that he is catching lightning in a bottle in 2021.
Berrios’ postseason experience also likely provided a value boost when the deal went down.
He has made three playoff appearances throughout his career and has managed a 3.75 ERA in those games.
That may not seem like a lot of outings, but playoff baseball is a different animal, and the fact that Berrios has any sort of experience on that stage goes a very long way.
On the whole, the Twins and Toronto Blue Jays must have recognized that Berrios’ value was at an all-time high.
It was reflected in the deal.
The Twins Got An Offer They Couldn’t Refuse
After the deadline, the Twins said that their goal is to return as contenders in 2022.
That’s why the Berrios deal stands out above the rest—he is under contract through the 2022 season.
Trading him away certainly put a damper on next year.
But ultimately, the organization got an offer that it couldn’t refuse.
Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson—two elite prospects—are now members of the Twins organization as a result of the trade.
OFFICIAL: We’ve acquired RHP José Berríos from the Twins in exchange for SS/OF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods Richardson.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 30, 2021
Martin is one of the best pure hitters in the minors right now.
He spent three seasons at Vanderbilt University, and this is what his OPS looked like by year there:
- 2018: .866
- 2019: 1.091
- 2020: 1.168
He reached base at a .507 clip during that final season.
That’s pretty remarkable.
He has appeared in 55 games at the Double-A level this year, and he has managed a slash line of .281/.424/.383.
The youngster’s ability to reach base is simply incredible.
It’s a product of his plate discipline and his ability to hit for contact.
SS/CF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson are headed back to the Twins for Jose Berrios, sources tell ESPN. Wow. That is a massive haul for a year and a half of Berrios.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2021
As for Woods Richardson, the Twins are getting a consensus top-100 prospect.
He is a right-handed pitcher who has shown flashes of potential at the minor-league level.
In 2019, he pitched to a 3.80 ERA over 26 starts between Single-A and Double-A.
There was no minor league season in 2020, so we didn’t see much of him for a while.
In 2021, he has struggled a bit.
The 20-year-old has a 5.76 ERA over 11 starts at the Double-A level this season.
With any luck, he should be able to get back on track in the near future.
The bottom line is that the Twins entered the season with a fairly average farm system, and that is no longer the case.
The future is bright in Minnesota.NEXT: Has Twins Slugger Josh Donaldson Become Underrated?