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Jose Berrios Reportedly Agrees to “Big Extension” with the Toronto Blue Jays (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

It’s not a free agent signing, but in the context of an expiring CBA in just two weeks, it is just as informative. The Blue Jays and Jose Berrios are comfortable locking down a monster deal right now, just like the Tigers and Eduardo Rodriguez yesterday.

From Jon Heyman, working on the early-morning reporting:

Ken Rosenthal confirmed that he’s hearing the same, so now we just wait on numbers to put a little more context on it. Oh, as I type, here’s the early look at the numbers:

Berrios, 27, was heading into his final year of team control with the Blue Jays, following a mid-2021 trade from the Twins. So instead of hitting the market as one of the most coveted young arms, Berrios instead locks down a huge guarantee. The AAV is slightly reduced for a front-end starter, but the $131 million suggests both he and the Blue Jays feel just fine about whatever is going to happen in the coming months.

Berrios posted a 3.52 ERA (3.47 FIP) over 192.0 innings last year between the Twins and Jays, and clearly the Jays are betting on his upside from there (or at least the ability to sustain it for many years to come). It’s a big, big extension. More than I would’ve thought.

Any chance this is an early sign that teams are going to start highly valuing starting pitchers who can go 6+ innings with some consistency? We’ve talked about possible rules/roster changes that could make those kinds of starters disproportionately valuable. Seven years is a long deal, historically speaking, for a starting pitcher. Just an early thought about a possible shift in thinking.

UPDATE: The deal gets slightly better for Berrios, who also has an opt out after the fifth year:



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.