The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays seemed poised to battle down to the wire for Minnesota Twins starter Jose Berrios … until Toronto surged ahead with an offer that probably made Brian Cashman blush with second-hand embarrassment.
And just like that, losing Berrios to a rival went from a difficult pill to swallow to a smooth, delicious, swallow-able juice.
Could the Yankees use pitching help? Of course, both in the bullpen and rotation. Berrios would’ve been a nice fit, and on the surface, it stings to watch him waltz to a division rival that’s a few inches behind them in the standings.
When the return package was released, though … it was unimaginable to think about the Yankees beating it for even one second.
Early versions of this trade included injury-plagued Jays top pitching prospect Nate Pearson, but the finalized edition was way more painful for all involved.
Austin Martin, Toronto’s No. 2 prospect, was supplemented by Simeon Woods Richardson, their No. 4. That is … not how you obtain a guy like Berrios, who hovers around a 3.80 ERA annually and out-pitches his own peripherals.
Yankees were right to pass on Jose Berrios at this price.
What’s the Yankees equivalent of this trade? Probably Anthony Volpe and Luis Medina? Considering most of us wouldn’t want to use either one of those players in a similar deal, it seems we dodged a bullet here.
Or rather, let the Blue Jays take control of the bullet and steer it directly into their future.
Objectively, moving a first-round steal of the century last year in Martin for a year and a half of Berrios already feels like a difficult-to-justify attempt at competing. The Vanderbilt product could’ve theoretically played center when it was time to push George Springer to a corner outfield position, while Bo Bichette and Vlad Guerrero Jr. continued to tear up the infield.
Nope. In Minnesota next to Royce Lewis, Trevor Larnach and Aaron Sabato, while you’re footing the bill for a mid-rotation starter. Oh, and they surrendered Woods Richardson, too. Right. Bad.
Just look at these lopsided trade values and tell us Cashman would’ve even considered this.
Will Berrios help during the season’s final two months, including seven games against the Yankees? Sure. He’s probably going to make more of an impact than Anthony Hatch (???), and will pop in behind Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alek Manoah next season. Good, solid foundation.
But these departures hurt, and Toronto’s definitely smiling through gritted teeth right now. Be glad it’s not you.