Twins trade 2-time All-Star pitcher José Berríos to Toronto

Published 1:16 pm Friday, July 30, 2021

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The playoff-chasing Toronto Blue Jays won the pursuit for All-Star pitcher José Berríos, acquiring the Minnesota right-hander for two minor leaguers on Friday.

The Twins got infielder/outfielder Austin Martin and righty Simeon Woods Richardson for their top pitcher. The deal was made shortly before the 4 p.m. EDT trade deadline.

Berríos was 7-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 20 starts for the Twins this season, and attracted interest from several contenders.

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Toronto began the day at 51-48, in the fifth spot chasing two AL wild-card slots.

The 27-year-old Berríos was Minnesota’s unquestioned ace, a two-time All-Star who has been as durable as any pitcher in the game and remains under team control through the 2022 season.

Berríos struck out 126 in 121 2/3 innings this season and held opponents to a .213 batting average. He was 55-43 with a 4.08 ERA in six season with Minnesota.

Dealing Berríos will set a struggling rotation back even further, but the Twins had all the leverage with so many teams on the market seeking high-end starting pitching. Getting prospects back from deals they’re making this month ought to give them a jump start on resetting for 2022 and beyond after this disappointing season on the heels of two straight AL Central titles.

The 22-year-old Martin hit .281 with a .424 on-base percentage and scored 43 runs in 55 games for Double-A New Hampshire. This is his first pro season.

A key member of the 2019 Vanderbilt team that won the College World Series, Martin played for the American League in the All-Star Futures Games this month at Coors Field. That AL side was managed by Twins special assistant LaTroy Hawkins.

The 20-year-old Woods Richardson was 2-4 with a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts for Double-A New Hampshire. He is now playing for the United States in the Olympics — he’s on the pitching staff as Joe Ryan, acquired by the Twins last week in a trade that sent slugger Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay.