The Toronto Blue Jays were big players at the trade deadline this year, acquiring starter Jose Berrios from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for top prospects Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson.
For many fans who follow the Blue Jay farm system, this seemed like a massive overpay when compared to similar deadline deals like Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees and Max Scherzer/Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fans were pretty happy to add Martin to the organization considering not many thought he would be available for the club during last year’s draft and Woods-Richardson had a great start to the season after being a focal point of the Marcus Stroman trade back in 2019.
This was a big price to pay but considering starters with some sort of contract control are worth their weight in gold, it makes sense why the Blue Jays had to include both prospects in the deal. Berrios will be with the club for at least one more season which could prove to be worth its salt with Robbie Ray being eligible for free agency this off-season and Hyun Jin Ryu currently struggling as the season comes to a close.
The Jose Berrios trade is really benefiting the Blue Jays right now as the club looks to make the postseason and with Hyun Jin Ryu struggling on the mound.
Since joining the Jays, Berrios has thrown to a 3.31 ERA through nine starts with 55 strikeouts, 10 walks, and a 1.18 WHIP through 51.2 innings pitched. While opponents hold a .255 batting average against the right-hander, Berrios has been pitching well as of late, holding opponents to a total of six earned runs over his last three starts while racking up 19 strikeouts through 20.1 innings.
In the Twins AA affiliate, Martin currently sports a .242/.384/.359 slash line with a .743 OPS while Simeon Woods-Richardson has struggled through his first three starts, pitching to a 9.00 ERA through six innings of work with six earned runs compared to nine strikeouts and six walks. The right-hander had a late start to his tenure with the Twins after representing the United States team at the Olympics this summer.
While this comparison is a bit biased considering Berrios is a more established veteran compared to two prospects with lots of time left to develop, the trade for the starting pitcher is boding well for the Jays as they head towards a potential postseason berth.
Left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu has been struggling to pitch deep into games and keeping runs off the scoreboard and having Berrios in the rotation is a sigh of relief when you look at the overall picture.
While Ryu is usually a rock on the mound, the South Korea product has been lit up this past month leading some to question his ability to pitch effectively as the club narrowly holds onto its spot in the Wild Card standings. Having Berrios in the rotation alongside a Cy Young candidate in Ray as well as Alek Manoah and Steven Matz helps the club over any potential option they would be throwing out there if the former Twins pitcher did not join the organization earlier this season.
Berrios did leave his last start with some abdominal discomfort but is going to be good to go this weekend and should not miss a start. Having him healthy and pitching well to finish the season will go a long way for the Blue Jays to try and make the playoffs this season, especially if Ryu continues to struggle as the season comes to a close.