Re-grading the Twins trading Jose Berrios after three seasons

It's a trade that just keeps getting better for the Twins.
Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays
Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

The trade deadline is always risky for teams selling, they are giving up a known commodity for some prospects who haven’t played in the majors yet.

A few years ago, the Twins made the difficult decision to trade their then 27-year-old ace José Berríos. In return for Berríos, the Twins received two Toronto Blue Jays top prospects: Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson.

Now that the trade is nearly three years old, it’s looking like the Twins made the right decision.

Twins finally seem to have won the Jose Berríos trade

At the time of the trade Martin was Toronto’s No. 2 prospect while Woods Richardson was the team’s No. 4 top prospect.

Usually when these trades happen one of the prospects rarely becomes a contributor to the major league team, much less both of the prospects. However, the Twins did their scouting well, as both players are trending to be significant contributors to the team.

The 25-year-old Martin had a slow start with the Twins but has shown flashes in his second stint.

Martin was called back up from Triple-A on June 13 and has made an instant impact since his return. He is 4-for-8 with 2 RBIs but his biggest highlights haven’t come at the plate

Overall, Martin isn’t an everyday player yet, but he seems to be trending in the right direction for Twins fans and has proven to be a solid utility player.

The Twins also acquired starting pitcher prospect Simeon Woods Richardson, they gave him some innings in 2022 and 2023, preparing him for the current season.

The 23-year-old has become a mainstay in the Twins rotation this season. Woods Richardson has started 11 games so far and has been as solid as they come, with a 2-1 record, a 3.29 ERA, and an impressive 1.15 WHIP.

Overall, the right-hander may never become an ace, but he has shown that he can be an important part of the rotation for years to come.

Grade: A+

What the Blue Jays received

The biggest reason Berríos was so coveted was due to him not being a rental and still under team control for a couple of years. However, the Blue Jays were gunning for a playoff spot in 2021.

The Blue Jays did not accomplish this goal. They ended with a record of 91-71 but couldn’t quite make the playoffs.

Despite the Blue Jays missing the playoffs, Berríos has been an excellent pitcher for them since 2021. Berríos continues to be reliable, starting over 32 games in 2022 and 2023, and had an impressive WAR of 2.4 in 2023. 

Berríos also helped the Blue Jays reach the playoffs in 2023 but ultimately lost to the Twins. However, he pitched well, going three innings, striking out five, and only giving up one run.

Berríos has been a solid starter for the Blue Jays, going 34-28 and a solid ERA of 4.07. The recent downturn of the Jays isn't the fault of Berrios, and if anything he could end up netting Toronto some future assets if they move him before the deadline.

Grade: B+

Final verdict 

This trade has turned out to be a rare win-win deal. The Twins received two good prospects who are now making important contributions, while the Blue Jays have had a solid starter since 2021.

However, the Twins come out on top in this trade since the Blue Jays were unable to accomplish their immediate goal of making the playoffs in 2021, while the Twins have two players making an impact right now and continuing to get better.

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