January 13, 2020

The curious case of the Twins’ Jose Berrios

Jose Berrios, the talented but not quite elite pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, appears set to have his salary demands go before an arbitrator, according to various reports.

There’s still time for the Twins and Berrios to work out a deal — both sides have until February — but the recent sequence of salary-related news has been odd, and one wonders if the ultimate trade chip is not someone like outfielder, Eddie Rosario, or a top prospect in the Twins’ minor league system, but Berrios himself.

Coming off a 2018 season in which Berrios struck out a career high 202 batters, he declined a contract extension from the Twins and was paid $620,000 for the 2019 season. That news was somewhat troubling because he pitched well and yet he or his representatives felt that whatever was offered fell short.

Berrios then went out and won 14 games, tying his career high in wins, pitched 200 innings for the first time in his career and lowered his ERA to 3.68. He also made 21 quality starts — six innings with three or fewer earned runs in a start — for a quality start percentage of 66 percent. A pitcher who will go out and give you a quality start almost 70 percent of the time seems like a player worth keeping.

So what explains the following? Phil Miller of the Strib reports that Berrios is seeking $4.4 million in 2020, yet the Twins countered with $4.025 million, a difference of $375,000. Are Falvey & Co. really going to quibble over that amount, especially when there’s talk of the Twins offering third baseman Josh Donaldson $100 million? Or perhaps that’s just it. Maybe the team has to hold the line somewhere to get Donaldson.

But don’t hold it against, Jose, Minnesota. He’s a good pitcher who still has a bright future with the team. But if you can’t come up with the money — and that might put the Berrios/Twins relationship at risk to the point he demands a trade — the arbitrator will.

Extra innings… 

-In other contract news, Miguel Sano, Rosario, Byron Buxton, Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers and Trevor May are all under contract for 2020. In Sano’s case, he has reportedly agreed to a three-year extension worth $30 million

Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MLB.com.

January 6, 2020

What do pitchers Homer Bailey and Rich Hill bring to the Twins? Well…

Like most of Twins Territory, I’m feeling underwhelmed after the Twins added starting pitchers Homer Bailey and Rich Hill. Bailey, in particular, doesn’t move the needle very much, and is already being compared to former Twins pitcher Martin Perez. Perez showed up last season with some lackluster numbers as well, but after working with innovative... Continue Reading »

December 31, 2019

The day Koufax no-hit the Phillies and the Twins lost to the Yankees (of course)

It was another day spent in these United States of America and another day spent on social media (sigh) when I came across a most enjoyable tweet: Artist Graig Kreindler had tweeted an image of one of his paintings. My painting of Sandy Koufax (born #OTD in 1935) about to finish his 3rd career no-no.... Continue Reading »

December 25, 2019

Tigers, White Sox take steps to get better… and the Twins?

There’s activity afoot in the American League Central and it’s not being generated by the Minnesota Twins. Oh, the Twins have cast a few pebbles into the pond, but nothing that’s caused anything beyond a ripple. In Detroit and Chicago, both teams appear ready to ride a slow, but growing wave of potential success. For... Continue Reading »

December 16, 2019

Will Josh Donaldson play for the Twins?

Slugging third baseman Josh Donaldson, who helped power the Atlanta Braves to an NL East title last season, has apparently drawn interest from the Twins. This makes sense because the Twins said goodbye to first baseman, C.J. Cron, which likely means that Miguel Sano moves to first base, creating an opening at the hot corner.... Continue Reading »

December 9, 2019

Welcome back… Michael Pineda?

The Twins, according to various reports, apparently have agreed to bring back starting pitcher, Michael Pineda, on a two-year, $20 million deal. He pitched well for the club in 2019 — especially down the stretch — but he also was suspended for using a diuretic (water pill) banned by major league baseball. #BREAKING sources tell... Continue Reading »

December 2, 2019

We hardly knew ye, Kyle Gibson

Kyle Gibson, the longest tenured member of the Twins, is no longer that after reportedly agreeing to a free agent deal with the Texas Rangers for $30 million over three years. Not bad for a guy with a career earned run average of 4.52. Should the Twins have tried to work out their own multiyear... Continue Reading »

November 25, 2019

The day the Twins’ Mike Cubbage bailed out over an old flame

It’s back to the well with another look at “The Baseball Codes,” a book about the unwritten rules of the game, including the business of beanballs. Hitting a batter, it turns out, is not always about retaliating after the batter takes the pitcher deep, or tosses the bat too far, or stares too intently at... Continue Reading »

November 18, 2019

The day Bert Blyleven beaned a batter over a labor dispute

As the baseball offseason rolls on, the need for content for this blog rolls on, too, and that means reading various books about the game to find an interesting Twins-related nugget. In 2010, Jason Turbow and Michael Duca published “The Baseball Codes,” a book about the unwritten rules of the game regarding a number of... Continue Reading »


Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.