Confirming what many thought to be true, the Blue Jays officially acquired their player to be named later from the Cleveland Indians to complete the Josh Donaldson trade.
According to an official release from the team, the Blue Jays have acquired right-handed pitcher Julian Merryweather from the Cleveland Indians in order to complete the Josh Donaldson trade that took place just before the August 31 waiver trade deadline. In a corresponding move, the team has designated infielder Jon Berti for assignment.
Merryweather, 26, was long assumed to be the player coming back to the Jays in the deal. A former 5th round pick of the Indians, the native of Berkeley, California has a lot of upside given his relatively young age and his solid minor league career thus far. A more detailed description of his minor league career and scouting report can be found here.
Berti, on the other hand, was just on his way up when this move was announced. A late-season call-up, Berti spent his entire, nearly eight-year career in the minor leagues, splitting time between the Blue Jays and Indians organizations.
In 15 at-bats for the big club in September, he stole a single base and knocked in two thanks to a timely RBI double in Tampa Bay. His total slash in 101 minor league contests this season was a healthy .296/.384/.446. He also added 29 stolen bases and 14 doubles to go along with eight homers.
If this is indeed the end of the line for Berti with the Jays, it’s disappointing, to say the least. A hard-working, hustle driven ballplayer, the native of Troy, Michigan was a blast to watch on the field and looked poised to at least make some impact on the big league team in the near future.
Blue Jays fans should be hoping he goes unclaimed and is allowed to re-enter the Jays minor league system, because depth this versatile is hard to come by, and with a youthful team leading the charge next season, Berti could end up being one of the veterans, despite having only played four major league contests.
Nicknamed “Jonny Hustle” by his New Hampshire Fisher Cats teammates, Berti was an 18th round pick of the Blue Jays in 2011.