Twins in no rush to promote Jose Berrios

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Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios had an uninspiring debut last season, posting an 8.02 ERA with an equally ugly 49/35 K/BB ratio in 58 1/3 innings across 14 starts last season. But the 22-year-old has been utterly dominant at Triple-A Rochester so far this season, compiling a minuscule 1.13 ERA with a markedly better 39/8 K/BB ratio in 39 2/3 innings spanning six starts.

As Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports, however, the Twins are in no rush to promote Berrios to the majors. Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said, “I think Jose’s done a really nice job. Clearly he’s performed. We feel he’s taking steps in the right direction.”

Berardino notes that if the Twins wait until June 27 to promote Berrios, the team will be able to control him for another year. That means he won’t become eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season assuming he stays in the majors for good after his next promotion.

The Twins, of course, are not breaking any new ground by manipulating a player’s service time. Hopefully, though, the practice comes to an end the next time the owners and players’ union negotiate the next collective bargaining agreement. As it stands now, teams are incentivized to keep their best players in the minors, which is bad for all involved, except the journeyman pitchers like Nick Tepesch who wind up getting extra starts. The fans are deprived of seeing one of their favorite players, the player himself has his earning potential artificially depressed, and the team isn’t able to put its best 25-man roster together.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.