5:44 pm: The Rays, Blue Jays and Red Sox are the most active teams in the Berrios market, reports Heyman, who adds that the division’s other contender, the Yankees, have also checked in. It doesn’t seem likely that the Mets — who have long been interested in Berrios but deterred by the Twins’ asking price — will wind up landing him. The Mets continue to be put off by Minnesota’s demand, hears Andy Martino of SNY, and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com suggests that’s also the case in discussions between the two clubs regarding Pineda.
2:39pm: The Twins have numerous offers in hand for Berrios, per Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes of The Athletic, who add that the market has exceeded the Twins’ initial expectations (Twitter link). A trade is seen as increasingly likely. TSN’s Scott Mitchell tweets that the Blue Jays are “definitely” in the mix for Berrios.
2:34pm: The Twins are getting “bombarded” with offers for Berrios, Nightengale tweets, adding that the Padres in particular are being aggressive in their efforts.
1:58pm: Some teams who’ve spoken to the Twins about Berrios get the sense that they’re more willing to move him now than they were earlier in the summer, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman lists the Dodgers as a team with interest, and, like myriad other recent reports, also indicates the Padres have interest. Dan Hayes of The Athletic recently wrote that the Padres had interest in Berrios, Michael Pineda and Kenta Maeda. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote this morning that San Diego is more focused on Berrios than on Max Scherzer.
8:11am: The Twins have already traded away Nelson Cruz, and with an off-day Thursday, today’s focus figures to be entirely on their deadline efforts to reload the club for 2022 and beyond. Jose Berrios is Minnesota’s most coveted trade candidate, and Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that offers for Berrios “have spiked” with the trade deadline now less than 48 hours away.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that the Mariners have been pursuing a Berrios acquisition this week, with the Twins focusing on one of Seattle’s top pitching prospects (Emerson Hancock or George Kirby) as part of a multi-player return. The two sides aren’t close to a deal, Morosi adds. Both Hancock (2020) and Kirby (2019) were first-round picks in recent Mariners drafts and have pitched at Class-A Advanced this year. Both players have missed time with shoulder fatigue this year, but Hancock returned this week and Kirby is expected back within the next couple of weeks, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweeted a couple days ago.
The Mets, too, have been linked to Berrios throughout the month of July, but all indications to this point have been that they consider the asking price too steep. Indeed, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports that the Mets are “very” interested but also had “sticker shock” when the Twins initially asked for a combination of two top-100 prospects and a young big leaguer. Beyond that, the Mets’ lack of premium pitching prospects may be a problem. Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Mets would perhaps need to involve a third team if they hoped to actually land Berrios. They’ve recently been more connected to rental pitchers.
Of course, virtually every contender or pseudo-contender has checked in with the Twins on Berrios’ asking price, given his affordable $6.1MM salary for the 2021 season as well as his remaining year of arbitration eligibility before free agency. The 27-year-old Berrios is enjoying the best season of an already impressive career, having pitched to a 3.48 ERA with career-best marks in strikeout percentage (25.7) and ground-ball percentage (43.6). His 6.5 percent walk rate is the second-lowest of his career, and the durable right-hander’s current pace would put him in line to land somewhere in the 195 to 200 range in terms of total innings pitched.