What an ELECTRIC way to start off this lovely Tuesday. I thought this offseason would be all about re-signing one of Marcus Semien or Robbie Ray, or trading an outfielder or catcher for a young arm, but Mark Shapiro and the Blue Jays have set the hot stove ablaze by extending trade deadline acquisition and ace starting pitcher José Berríos to a seven-year deal worth $131 million. LET’S GOOOO!!!!!
Right-hander José Berríos and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a seven-year, $131 million contract extension, sources confirm to ESPN. The deal includes an opt-out clause after the fifth season and limited no-trade protection as well. @deplaymaker was on top of it.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 16, 2021
What a massive start to the offseason for the Jays as they lock down one of the best young starters in the game. Berríos was acquired in July to help this club make a playoff push, giving up two of the farm’s top prospects for what was supposed to be only a year and a half as his contract was up after the 2022 season. The Jays brass clearly made it a priority to keep him here longer and did a FANTASTIC job extending the 27-year old known as La Makina, or the machine, for the rest of his prime. What a massive move.
What a first impression for Jose Berrios in his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays!
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) August 1, 2021
Berríos made 12 starts with the Blue Jays last season and went 5-4 with a 3.54 ERA and 1.095 WHIP. The guy’s a strikeout machine, averaging 10 punchies per nine innings and had an incredible strikeout-to-walk ratio at 6-1. The Jays just agreed to the longest-termed deal in franchise history but that’s because Berríos is well worth it. He’s pure filth.
José Berríos, 96mph Two Seamer (22" of arm side run) and 81mph Curveball (21" of glove side break), Overlay with Tails. 😯 pic.twitter.com/h15utQS5dG
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 30, 2021
I’m not one to care about how much a franchise pays their players (the billionaire owners are paying them, not me) but locking José Berríos down at less than $20 million per season is great because it leaves a lot of room to pay some more guys this winter and years to come when Vladdy, Bo, and Teoscar are out of arbitration.
With the Jays getting this extension done so early in the offseason I doubt they’ll get Robbie Ray as well. He’s gonna be expensive and as Dean and I agreed on it probably won’t be worth it. Sure he’s gonna win the AL Cy Young award this season and deservedly so because he dominated, but I think Pete Walker deserves nearly as much of that hardware as he does. Ray will still be really good for whoever signs him but if you had to choose between extending Berrios or bringing back Ray I think the Jays made the right decision.
Now let’s hope good old Ed Rogers has enough room in the cheque book to bring back Semien as well and a reliever or two and then let Ross Atkins cook up a trade to get some young pitching. What a great start to the offseason for this ballclub. Welcome home, Berríos.