Since making his major league debut in 2016, Jose Berrios has been the one constant in the Minnesota Twins rotation. He’d like to keep it that way.
The right-hander said Friday he and his agent have discussed a contract extension with the Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine but “don’t have anything decided yet.”
Berrios has made 115 starts for the Twins since 2016, and in his past four seasons is 45-31 with a 3.82 earned-run average while striking out 604 and walking 186 in 601.1 major league innings. He’s making $5.6 million with a $500,000 signing bonus this season and has one year of arbitration left.
Only 26, he could become a unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season.
“Derek and my people work on that,” Berrios said Friday. “So, we don’t talk about numbers yet, but we got that conversation so far. We tried to get in that point where we can make my decision, and they are happy, too, with the way they read to me and my agent, so we have chosen that.”
Berrios made it clear he would prefer to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
“I don’t wake up every morning thinking like that, ‘Is that going to happen?’ ” he said, “But, for sure, they’re going to help me to be more focused on my work. The way I am right now, like I say, I don’t wake up and think about, when I’m going to sign? But, yeah, for sure, that’s going to be special for me and my family.”
Berrios pitched Game 2 of the Twins’ brief postseason appearance last season, giving up one run on two hits and two walks and fanning four before manager Rocco Baldelli pulled him in the fifth inning of a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros.
The loss marked the team’s major league-record 18th consecutive postseason loss.
Kenta Maeda was even more effective in Game 1, striking out five and allowing two hits and three walks in five shutout innings of a 4-1 loss to the Astros.
“We didn’t score enough runs to win, if you really want to get down to the specifics of those two games,” Baldelli said. “We probably needed a big hit. We had guys on base. We had opportunities. We did not come through. That’s going to happen in baseball.”
The Twins won the American League Central in both of Baldelli’s two seasons in Minnesota but are 0 for 6 in playoff games.
“I wish I could say we went out there in the playoffs and did what we expected to do. We didn’t,” he said. “But I think it’s certainly not far-fetched that in our next playoff game — whenever that may be — that we will be there and be ready to score a bunch of runs.”
The Twins made official the signing of right-handed pitcher Matt Shoemaker to a one-year, $2 million contract.
An eight-year veteran, Shoemaker, 34, has a career 43-33 record and 3.86 ERA. In last year’s short season, he made six starts for Toronto, going 0-1 with a 4.71 ERA. He walked nine and struck out 26 in 28.2 innings. Opponents’ .136 batting average in scoring situations was best among AL starters.
Shoemaker hasn’t started more than seven games in a season since 2018.
“I really like his fastball. I like his split. I like his breaking stuff,” pitching coach Wes Johnson said Friday. “This is a guy who’s had some bad luck. He’s had an ACL, some weird stuff. It’s not arm-related for the most part. I think this guy is primed and ready to have a good year.”
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins outrighted right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut, who has cleared waivers and will remain in camp as a non-roster invitee. Friday was the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers in Fort Myers, Fla. The club’s first full-squad workout is set for next Tuesday.