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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: José Berríos

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

I have my doubts that the season will start ‘on time,’ but maybe we can pretend for a bit that it will. Since we aren’t getting any baseball news, let’s start looking at the guys who will be playing for the Jays if/when the season starts.

José Berríos came to us in trade from the Twins for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson. At the time, I said the price was pretty steep. Martin and Woods Richardson were both top 100 MLB prospects. Two guys that I was looking forward to seeing wear Blue Jays uniforms.

In Kate’s post on the trade, we were mixed on the trade:

Which seemed pretty fair at the time.

Some of the prospect lustre has come off Martin and Woods Richardson, but they are still good prospects. So maybe we should rerun the poll.

Poll

How do you feel about the Berríos trade now?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Thrilled/Excited
    (579 votes)
  • 13%
    Nervous, that’s a lot we gave up
    (92 votes)
  • 0%
    I hate it
    (6 votes)
677 votes total Vote Now

Berríos pitched 12 games for us down the stretch, going 5-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 70 innings. He had a couple of poor stretches that brought out the naysayers, but he was pretty good in all.

Adding in the 20 starts he made for the Twins, he ended up tied at the top of the league in starts, at 32 and finished with a 3.2 bWAR (4.1 fWAR). And he finished 7th in Cy Young voting. He struck out 26.1% and walked 5.8% of the batters he faced. Both numbers were career bests. Normally I would expect those numbers to drop slightly, but he gets to work with Pete Walker for the full season (yeah, Tom, use the term ‘full season,’ like it will happen). Pete seems to be able to get the most out of his pitchers.

He throws both a two and four-seam fastball, curve and change. He gets a lot of ground balls (42.8%, compared to 34.0% fly ball). Ben Clemens tells us that the four-seam was the better pitch, especially after the league outlawed sticky stuff.

After the season, the Jays signed Berríos to a seven-year contract extension, worth $131 million with an opt-out after five years. He turns 28 in May of this year (nicely in the middle of his prime), so the opt-out will come in time for his age 33 season. If he opts out, the good news is that we would have had some excellent pitching from him. Pitchers who aren’t doing great don’t opt out.

He is a guy who has averaged 27 started a year (not counting his rookie season), so he is a pretty good bet on a long term contract (though I don’t know if there is a pitcher who really is a good bet for a seven-year contract)

PECOTA sees him making 30 starts this year, a 3.45 ERA, 181.1 innings and a 2.3 WAR. They also have him have a 12-9 record, I’d like to think he’ll better, but then a lot goes into a win/loss record that a pitcher doesn’t control.

Poll

If the over/under on Berríos ERA is 3.45, I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Over
    (169 votes)
  • 67%
    Under
    (350 votes)
519 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Berríos bWAR is 2.3, I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Over
    (419 votes)
  • 11%
    Under
    (57 votes)
476 votes total Vote Now