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MLB Trade Rumors: Twins SP Jose Berrios a 'Name to Watch' for Blue Jays

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios is a "name to watch" if the Toronto Blue Jays begin to pursue ways to strengthen their staff, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

Berrios is 3-2 with a 3.74 ERA and 3.53 FIP in eight starts so far, per FanGraphs.

The first question is why Minnesota would want to trade one of its best pitchers.

The Twins own the worst record (14-26) in the American League, but the door isn't totally closed on the playoffs. FanGraphs gives them an 8.8 percent chance of reaching the postseason, while Baseball Prospectus is a little more optimistic at 20.7 percent. 

Berrios is arbitration-eligible for one more year, with the bulk of the current roster signed or under team control through at least 2022. Should the organization miss out on the playoffs, the front office doesn't need to blow it up and start over.

But general manager Thad Levine might see sometime before the July 30 trade deadline as the best time to move Berrios since Minnesota's trade leverage will only dwindle the closer the 26-year-old gets to free agency.

The Blue Jays are second in the East at 23-17, 0.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox. The top four teams in the division are separated by just 1.5 games, so it promises to be a tight race.

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Because of that, acquiring a starting pitcher would be a sensible move. Toronto's starters are collectively 21st in FIP (4.39) and 27th in home run rate (1.67 per nine innings), per FanGraphs.

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