Blue Jays: Who should the front office look to extend first?
The prized acquisition
After the Blue Jays are done trying to re-sign Robbie Ray and/or Marcus Semien, they’ll likely turn their sights to their newly acquired star in Jose Berrios, whose contract will expire at the end of the 2022 campaign.
Part of the appeal in trading for Berrios was that extra year of contract control, but you’d better believe that the front office would like to keep the 27 year old around beyond that if they can. They’ll have the remainder of this playoff chase to try and show him how great it can be a Blue Jay, and will have the same opportunity next year in advance of him hitting the open market.
Berrios is in an important position at the moment, and how he performs over the next season-plus will greatly impact the significance of his next contract. He’s young enough that teams shouldn’t be too afraid of a long-term deal, but his status as more of a #2 than a true ace will hold him back a bit. That said, he can certainly change that narrative before that day comes.
He’s making 5.6 million in 2021 according to Spotrac.com, so you can probably expect that he’ll see an increase to at least 10 million or more when he goes through his third and final trip through arbitration. That should still be a tremendous bargain for the Blue Jays in the short-term, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to keep him around.
Of course, Berrios’ future with the Blue Jays could be greatly impacted by whether or not they re-sign Robbie Ray as well. Hyun Jin Ryu still has two years and 40 million left on his deal, and it’s worth asking whether or not they can afford to have three starters making 20 million or more per season, especially when there are other stars to pay. Still, I fully expect that the Blue Jays have intentions of keeping their prized trade acquisition in Toronto for as long as they can.