The Minnesota Twins look like they may be finished adding to their rotation for 2020. If that is indeed the case, then this will obviously be a disappointing off season where their biggest need was not addressed. It looks like once again the Twins will be relying on Jose Berrios to take another step towards becoming a star. They may be relying too heavily on him to become better when he has stayed around the same level for three straight seasons.
- 2017 Berrios: 3.89 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 8.59 K/9, 2.7 fWAR
- 2018 Berrios: 3.84 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 9.45 K/9, 3.1 fWAR
- 2019 Berrios: 3.68 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 8.76 K/9, 4.4 fWAR
The fWAR for Berrios has taken a jump each season, but he just has not become the “ace” you hope would be leading a playoff rotation. Can he become that player? Sure, but a team coming off 101 wins and a division title should be looking to acquire someone as good or better to lead the rotation.
Last off season was different, because the Twins were coming off a 78-win season and they could afford to wait until they were good enough to strike for the big name pitcher. Now the time has come, and they may never have a better time with the division wide open and the core of young players still under team control for years to come.
Of course not everything that has gone wrong in free agency has been the Twins fault. All four of Cole, Strasburg, Wheeler and Bumgarner basically told the Twins they wouldn’t be coming here, but adding an impact starting pitcher should not end with free agency. It seems with the Twins shifting all of their focus to Josh Donaldson and adding Rich Hill and Homer Bailey they are done adding to their rotation.
A trade is still possible but there is nothing I have seen from this front office that shows they are willing to trade prospects for a big name player. Someone like David Price, Matthew Boyd, Robbie Ray or Jon Gray would instantly make this rotation so much better. The front office should definitely execute a trade but when the only top-30 prospect they have given up since arriving was Jermaine Palacios for Jake Odorizzi, it doesn’t make me confident.
I think too much weight is being put on the shoulders of Jose Berrios. He has not taken the step to become a star and now for the Twins to have that elite top of the rotation pitcher, they need him more than ever. Maybe they have been working with him and have a lot of reasons to believe Berrios will take that final step.
All I know for sure is if this Twins team struggles with starting pitching throughout the season, the front office will be under fire from the fans. They have time to make a move and take some pressure off Berrios. They just have to execute the necessary deal.