Given the possibility of the Toronto Blue Jays signing Shohei Ohtani, the stellar Jose Berrios and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. welcomed the Canadian organization’s commitment to hiring the Japanese phenomenon.
The Blue Jays have emerged in recent days as strong candidates to land the highly sought-after two-time American League Most Valuable Player in a free agency deal that could be historic.
Experts point to the firm exceeding $500 million.
During Friday, some members of the American press reported that Ohtani was on his way to Toronto to negotiate with the ninth. Others did not validate the information, indicating that the starter was also at his home in Southern California.
Berrios, a Puerto Rican pitcher who is on a seven-year, $131 million pact with the Blue Jays, understands that the team has the financial capacity to attract Ohtani.
“The organization is class A when it comes to the treatment of the player and his family. They greatly respect what human beings are, and they play in a very competitive division (American League East Division). There is money in Toronto. It’s a matter of what happens,” said Berrios during the gala at a hotel in Isla Verde prior to the celebration this Saturday of “La Gente del Barrio HR Derby & Celebrity Softball Game” organized together with Guerrero Jr.
The event will be at the Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium.
Ohtani, 29, is coming off his second unanimous American League MVP award. He led the New Circuit with 44 home runs and hit .304 with 96 RBIs, eight triples and 20 stolen bases for the Los Angeles Angels.
“It would be great. One less headache because she wouldn’t have to deal with it. It would be a blessing to have it. It’s going to be of great impact. We all know who Ohtani is. The man is supernatural. Hitting and pitching, it’s incredible. Obviously, he can’t pitch (in 2024) but as a hitter he is going to influence our team a lot.”
As a pitcher, Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts, with 167 strikeouts and 55 walks in 132 innings, before suffering a torn right elbow on August 23. He had surgery on September 19 and will be out until 2025.
Prior to the gala, Berrios had a brief conversation with Guerrero Jr. about the possibility of having Ohtani as a teammate in 2024.
“Those are businesses. I dont get in. If they sign it, of course I will be happy. For now, I haven’t found out anything. “I am focused on my work and that the office does its job,” reacted Guerrero Jr., three-time All-Star Player with Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
“It would help a lot because it helps you as a hitter and as a pitcher. Obviously, the kind of phenom and ballplayer he is. It’s going to help us a lot. In Toronto, the fans are always there, no matter how we are. One thing he has is that he wants to win and we, each one, want to win.”he added.
The Blue Jays finished third in the Eastern Division in 2023 with a record of 89-73, reaching the wild card series after capturing the third and final wild card ticket in the AL. They were eliminated in two games by the Minnesota Twins.
In addition to Toronto, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Angels, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants are in contention for Ohtani’s services.