The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired RHP Jose Berrios from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for IF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson.
What an absolute haul for the Twins. They were unexpectedly awful this season, making them sellers at today’s Trade Deadline. Berrios has been their best starting pitcher over the past few seasons but he will become a free agent after the 2022 season. The Twins are able to capitalize and bring him two highly regarded prospects. MLB Pipeline ranks both of them as Top-100 prospects in all of Major League Baseball. Martin is 16th while Woods-Richardson is 68th. Drafted fifth overall in the 2020 draft, Martin raked at Vanderbilt before debuting at AA this year. His power has not come along to professional baseball but he is still a very good hitter with a ton of potential. Woods-Richardson was selected by the Mets in the second-round of the 2018 draft. The Blue Jays brought him in along with Anthony Kay in the Marcus Stroman trade. One thing about the younger pitcher is that he has struggled this season thanks to a walk rate that has hurt him big time. The Twins may have made the best deal of the deadline, absolutely stealing two prospects that scouts seem to unanimously love.
Martin, 22, has hit two home runs with nine stolen bases, a .424 OBP, and an .807 OPS in 250 Plate Appearances for AA New Hampshire this year. Over his career at Vanderbilt, Martin hit 14 home runs with 43 stolen bases, a .474 OBP, and a 1.007 OPS in 665 Plate Appearances.
Woods-Richardson, 20, has a 5.76 ERA with 67 strikeouts and a 1.500 WHIP in 45.1 innings for New Hampshire this year. In his minor league career he has a 4.09 ERA with 219 strikeouts and a 1.222 WHIP in 169.1 innings pitched.
The Blue Jays need starting pitching, as after Hyun-Jin Ryu and Robbie Ray, their rotation isn’t much. They definitely improve it now with Berrios, who is having a career season and still has a year left of control. However, Berrios has never really earned his reputation as an ace. Only once has he had an xERA under 4.00, which came in 2018. This year his xERA is 4.13. That is fine but not worth two top-70 prospects. He has decreased his walk rate to 6.5 percent this season which has helped his 3.57 FIP. Does he help the team? Yes. Is it worth the return? Absolutely not.
Berrios, 27, has a 3.48 ERA with 126 strikeouts and a 1.044 WHIP in 121.2 innings for Minnesota this year. In his MLB career, all for the Twins, Berrios has a 4.08 ERA with 779 strikeouts and a 1.233 WHIP in 781.1 innings.