The Toronto Blue Jays made a valiant run towards a potential playoff appearance in 2021 even though they fell short. While their bats led by an amazing season from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. often got most of the attention, a move that the Blue Jays made at the trade deadline proved to be critical in allowing the team to keep games close and go on that run.
At the trade deadline last season, Toronto made waves when they traded Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson (both highly regarded prospects) to the Twin in exchange for Jose Berrios who happened to be one of the top pitchers on the trade market. Berrios rewarded the Blue Jays’ faith by posting a 3.58 ERA with 78 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 70.1 innings with the team. After investing so much prospect capital in Berrios, Toronto wanting to keep him in the fold made all the sense in the world. So...they did it.
NEWS: José Berríos, Blue Jays in agreement on 7-year contract extension, source confirms. @JonHeyman was first to report the deal. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 16, 2021
Berrios’ contract is for 7 years, $131M as @ShiDavidi reported. That buys out final year of arbitration plus six free agent years.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 16, 2021
Berrios contract extension, as Sherman noted, buys out Berrios last year of arbitration (which could have been pricey on its own) and gives the Blue Jays six years of additional team control. That seems to fit nicely with Toronto’s expected window of contention while giving Berrios’ a nice payday and financial security.
We have seen teams being somewhat willing to commit to significant deals in recent days despite the CBA negotiations looming over everything, so it will be interesting to see how many more deals get locked down before the expected lockout at the beginning of December.