I want to start by saying I think very highly of Jose Berrios and think he’s an incredible pitcher and person on and off the mound. With that said, I think the Minnesota Twins need to invest in a true ace in the years to come to fortify their position in the AL Central.
While there have been many complaints lodged by Minnesota Twins fans over the course of this season, myself included, the pitching staff has been relatively solid. As a team they have the 9th best ERA in the MLB. Though they’ve regressed some in recent months, they still remain in the top third of the league.
Unfortunately, the Cleveland Indians have one of the best ERAs and records in all of baseball over the past couple months, making the Twins rotation look that much worse. With a plethora of minor-league talent, the Minnesota Twins front office should make a major splash this off-season or at next years deadline to bolster their rotation.
Jose Berrios has a career ERA of 4.14 and though that’s not the worst out there, it’s not quite “ace” material. While he was an all-star selection last year and continues to pitch well this year, he struggles a little too often to be the number one option for a rotation.
His ERA has been under 4.00 the last few years though following his rough 2016 rookie season. There’s definitely hope for him to be the number one option in a playoff rotation someday but he’s not quite there yet.
After this year, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, and Michael Pineda will all be free-agents able to sign anywhere they choose. While that means the Twins will need to find more than just one starter to replace this crew, they will have ample money off the books to shop around. Somewhere in the ballpark of 22-23 million will be available to the Twins front office from those 3 alone.
While they have young guys ready to fill the gaps in Devin Smeltzer, Brusdar Graterol, Stephen Gonsalves, and Kohl Stewart just to name a few, they need to find a true ace. With Jose Berrios sticking around, a 1-2 punch of say Gerrit Cole or Madison Bumgarner along with Berrios could be one of the most dangerous in baseball. Look to resign Odorizzi who may be due for a big contract or retain Gibby and the staff won’t look too bad to begin next season.
There’s also quite a few options for the free-agent class of 20-21 as well. Trevor Bauer, Jake Arrieta, Marcus Stroman, and Jose Quintana are all set to be free agents. Deal for one of those guys with the abundance of prospects the Twins have and the rotation could be one of the best in baseball.
Though this trade deadline was quite the dud, the Minnesota Twins still have a great shot to make the playoffs. With a lineup set for the future, investing in some solid pitching would help this team secure its spot among the elites in the MLB.