Jose Berrios has been a two-time All-Star pitcher for the Twins, but that didn't help his request for a record salary in his first year of arbitration.
Berrios will earn $4,025,000 for the 2020 season after the Twins won an arbitration case with him in a ruling that came down Thursday. He had asked for $4.4 million. Last season, Berrios earned $620,000 while winning 14 games.
If Berrios had won his case, it would have been a record for a contract awarded via arbitration to a first-year eligible pitcher. That contract still would have fallen well short of the $7.25 million contract Dallas Keuchel got with Houston in 2016, when the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner reached agreement with the Astros before going to an arbitrator.
On Twitter, Berrios (@JOLaMaKina) thanked the Major League Baseball Players Association, which supported his quest for a record reward, and his agents, the Wasserman Media Group: "Feels good to be well represented, but feels even better to have a dream team represent you! THIS IS MY DREAM TEAM! No matter what the final result is! Thank you @, @ & everyone who was part of this for all the hard work and support!"
If Berrios does not sign a long-term contract he will be eligible for free agency in 2023.
The Twins didn't go to arbitration with their other six eligible players. In January, first baseman Miguel Sano got a three-year bridge contract, with a fourth year option, that takes him through all his arb eligible seasons. That deal is guaranteed for $30 million and could be worth $41 million.
Other arbitration-eligible players the Twins signed in January were:
• Byron Buxton, who will earn $3.075 million next season, a 75.7% increase over the $1.75 million the center fielder was paid in 2019.
• Reliever Tyler Duffey signed for $1.2 million, more than double the near-minimum salary he earned last summer.
• Closer Taylor Rogers’ pay will nearly triple to $4.45 million from 2018’s $1.525 million.
• Outfielder Eddie Rosario will receive $7.75 million, an 85% raise from his $4.19 million salary in 2019.
• Reliever Trevor May, who can become a free agent at the end of the 2020 season, will earn $2.205 million, a 145% increase from last year.
All five players quickly agreed to contracts at salaries between what the team proposed and what they asked for in arbitration, a practice that has long been relatively routine for the Twins.