MLB Rumors: Jose Berrios and the Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly agreed to terms on a contract extension for seven years at around $130 million, per reports.
Berrios, a 27 year old righthanded starting pitcher, was acquired by the Jays from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson at the trade deadline in 2021. He has been pretty consistently a 3-4 win starter since the 2018 season, and has made the All Star team twice. Berrios put up a 3.52 ERA and a 3.47 FIP in 192 innings in 2021 between the Twins and Jays, logging 192 innings over 32 starts.
Berrios was projected to make $10.9 million in arbitration in 2022 by MLB Trade Rumors, in what would have been his final year of arbitration eligibility. That would put the extension at about $20 million per year for six free agent years, covering his age 29-34 seasons.
Six years is a bit longer than you’d probably be comfortable with doing, but Berrios seems like a pretty safe bet to be worth $20 million per year for the next several years, and the Jays, who are in the early period of what should be a window of contention that lasts for a few years, now have a solid #2 starter locked up for a while.
UPDATE — Jeff Passan says the deal is 7 years, $131 million, with an opt out after year five and “limited no-trade protection.”
That’s presumably $11 million for 2022 and $20M per year thereafter, although with the opt out we could see the deal either front-loaded or back-loaded. My guess would be that if there’s a deviation from $20M per year it would be with the final two years higher, given that the overall deal seems kind of rich, but I could be wrong.
This deal is an interesting contrast to the deal Eduardo Rodriguez reportedly agreed to yesterday — 5 years, $77 million with the Tigers. Berrios and Rodriguez appear to me to be pretty similar pitchers, who are likely to perform similarly going forward. Rodriguez is a year older than Berrios, and has an opt out after year two, but Berrios is still a year away from free agency, and Berrios still got a longer deal and a higher AAV in his free agent years.