After trading for him last season, the Toronto Blue Jays want to make sure that Jose Berrios is a piece of their rotation for years to come. They made that a reality on Tuesday morning.
According to published reports, the Toronto Blue Jays have inked Berrios to a seven-year, $131 million extension, pending a physical. The move comes after the 27-year-old right-hander posted a 5-4 mark, 3.58 ERA, 1.095 WHIP, and ERA+ of 123 after making 12 starts for the Blue Jays following a trade deadline acquisition last season from the Minnesota Twins.
What the contract extension means for Jose Berrios and the Toronto Blue Jays
Berrios was eligible for free agency following the 2022 season, so Tuesday’s move means that the Blue Jays have locked up a key piece of their rotation through the two-time All-Star’s age-34 season. It also means that the Blue Jays have taken a step to secure a pitcher who was the key asset for them to acquire in a trade that sent a pair of top end minor leaguers to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Berrios.
At the time, the move to acquire Berrios was labeled as one that came with a “hefty price.” However, the Blue Jays have shown not only was Berrios their man not only at the trade deadline but now for seasons to come as well.
While Berrios was arbitration-eligible in 2022, there are plenty of other questions about what is to come of Toronto’s rotation. With both Robbie Ray and Steven Matz as free agents, Berrios joins Hyun Jin Ryu and Alek Manoah as the lead pitchers for the Blue Jays heading into the 2022 campaign.
Of course, Toronto wants to find a way to keep its rotation from 2021 intact, including Ray, who is the favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award. However, Tuesday’s move indicates that the Blue Jays are ready to move forward with Berrios as a cog in the rotation for years to come, no matter what decisions like ahead for Ray and Matz.
Berrios was a first-round pick of the Twins in 2012 and made his MLB debut four years later at the age of 21. He made 135 starts for Minnesota over six seasons, logging a 4.08 ERA (4.01 FIP) and 1.233 WHIP. The Blue Jays are now banking on him being that durable and successful in Toronto.