MLB Rumors: Twins Could Look To Trade Top Prospect Austin Martin

It's only been five months since the Minnesota Twins pulled off a huge haul at the baseball trade deadline, securing two of the Toronto Blue Jays' top prospects in return for starter Jose Berrios. 

Now, The Athletic's Twins reporters Aaron Gleeman and Dan Hayes are suggesting that one of those, now that team's No. 2 prospect Austin Martin, could be turned around for a badly-needed starting pitcher in the mold of a pitcher like, say... Jose Berrios. 

Wait, what? 

Gleeman and Hayes make the case that one of the main reasons the Twins made the trade with the Blue Jays was their belief that they would not be able to retain center fielder Byron Buxton. But now that Buxton surprised the organization by deciding to re-up for 7 years, Martin could be seen as a redundancy. 

Martin's prospect report lists center field and shortstop as his positions, though the Twins' No. 1 prospect, Royce Lewis, is a shortstop as well. 

With starting pitching now in short supply in Minnesota, Hayes says "I do think they’d be open to trading (Martin) for a starter such as Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle of the Reds or Frankie Montas of the A’s." None of those pitchers can reach free agency before 2024. 

This all, of course, begs the question as to why the Twins didn't simply hang on to Berrios in the first place. Perhaps the recent $131M extension Berrios just got out of the Blue Jays is part of the answer. Were the Twins ready to extend Berrios 7 years at such an exorbitant cost? As noted by Hayes, the Twins had already low-balled Berrios in earlier extension talks, and "this front office has avoided long-term deals for pitchers."

It would still be a surprise if Minnesota were to turn around and trade such a highly-regarded prospect so quickly, but with the Twins, stranger things have happened.