The Toronto Blue Jays made a monumental move before the trade deadline by acquiring Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios. He shows up with another year of arbitration remaining in 2022 and while it did cost a nice prospect haul, this team wants to win.
The two-time All-Star made 20 starts for the Twins this year, sporting a 3.48 ERA with a 9.3 K/9. Minnesota was going nowhere and decided to make the smart move to acquire two promising prospects to help build for the future.
Berrios may now have extra motivation after being given up on by his team. He made his Blue Jays debut Sunday and it appears he is up for the challenge of helping his new team reach the postseason.
Jose Berrios with the perfect debut
Berrios faced a familiar foe in the Kansas City Royals and finished his day with seven strikeouts in six shutout innings of work. He only walked one batter and was pulled after an efficient 95 pitches. His offense provided support and just like that, his 2021 priorities have completely changed.
Another reason the start was so special is because the debut actually came in Toronto. The Blue Jays are back home and played in front of nearly 15,000 fans Sunday. This in itself serves as a major boost, so add in Berrios’ arrival and the Blue Jays have new life with two months remaining in the season.
As of Sunday night the Blue Jays are 7.5 games out of first in the American League East. However, they are only 3.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second Wild Card spot. Adding a potential ace in Berrios is huge in helping Robbie Ray and Hyun Jin Ryu not have to shoulder so much of the load. The team now has a legitimate dominant trio as the playoff chase takes off with so many players joining new teams.
The Twins used a first-round pick on Berrios in 2012 and brought him up through the organization slowly. Yet they were ready to move on after a slow start for the entire team in 2021. Will they regret losing the 27-year-old? Even if the acquired prospects are busts, the only way they may regret the decision is if Berrios becomes a true star again in the coming years.
But that is a long hypothetical and clearly they were fine with moving on at this point. The Blue Jays now have a window to chase a title through the 2022 season, at least with Berrios. That window will remain open in general much longer thanks to all the young talent on the roster.