At this pace, there might not be much action left for the Trade Deadline.On Monday, the night before the July 31 non-waiver deadline, high-profile swaps found at least five Minor League pitchers on the move.In the trade that sent Ian Kinsler to the Red Sox, the Angels added Triple-A relievers
At this pace, there might not be much action left for the Trade Deadline.
On Monday, the night before the July 31 non-waiver deadline, high-profile swaps found at least five Minor League pitchers on the move.
In the trade that sent Ian Kinsler to the Red Sox, the Angels added Triple-A relievers Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez. The Rangers landed left-hander Taylor Hearn and a player to be named later from the Pirates in a deal for Keone Kela, and the Blue Jays got right-handers Hector Perez and David Paulino from the Astros in a swap centering on Roberto Osuna.
Buttrey went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA over 32 appearances for Pawtucket, striking out 64 over 44 innings and earning one save in four chances. Ranked No. 19 in the Boston system before the trade, the 25-year-old right-hander checked in at No. 27 in the strong Los Angeles organization. A fourth-round pick in 2012, he moved from the rotation to the bullpen in the 2016 season. He touched 101 mph in the Arizona Fall League last year, but his fastball can straighten out, according to MLB Pipeline. He also throws a circle changeup and slider.
Jerez, who was No. 23 in the Red Sox system, converted five of six save opportunities for the PawSox this season, going 2-1 with a 3.36 ERA over 24 appearances and fanning 69 over 52 innings. The 26-year-old lefty was taken in the second round of the 2011 Draft as an outfielder, but he moved to the mound in 2014. His fastball ranges from 93-97 mph with some sink and combined with a sharp slider has helped him hold left-handed hitters to a .231 average.
Kinsler, a Gold Glove-winning second baseman and four-time All-Star, bolsters a Boston club that will be without Dustin Pedroia all year.
The Pirates reported via Twitter that Hearn was one of two players going to the Rangers for Kela. A 23-year-old lefty with a 70-grade fastball, he was 3-6 with a 3.12 ERA for Double-A Erie, and his 107 strikeouts over 104 innings were tied with Bowie's Keegan Akin for most in the Eastern League. Hearn was a 2015 fifth-round pick of the Nationals, but he was traded to the Bucs in the Mark Melancon deal one day before the 2016 deadline.
Kela has appeared in 180 big league games. This year, he's converted 24 saves in 25 opportunities while posting a 3.44 ERA over 38 appearances for the Rangers.
Meanwhile, in dealing Osuna to the Astros, the Blue Jays acquired Perez and Paulino along with Ken Giles.
Perez, 22, was 3-4 with a 3.73 ERA this season between Class A Advanced Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi. The righty signed out of the Dominican Republic for $45,000 in 2014, but with a fastball that can reach 99 mph, he emerged this season as one of the best arms in the organization. Scouts say he has four pitches that can grade as plus or better, but his inconsistent command makes them play down.
Paulino, 24, made nine Major League appearances over 2016-17, going 2-1 with a 6.25 ERA in that span. But his 2017 season came to an abrupt end when he was hit with an 80-game suspension last July for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He came to Houston from Detroit in a 2013 trade for right-handed reliever Jose Veras. Paulino needed Tommy John surgery after that deal, and he underwent surgery to remove bone spurs in his right elbow last fall.
Perez is ranked as Toronto's No. 11 prospect, while Paulino moved into the No. 20 spot.
Giles has recorded 77 big league saves over five years, but this season he struggled in the Astros bullpen until he was sent down to Triple-A Fresno on July 12. He's allowed five runs over six Pacific Coast League outings, earning an 8.44 ERA.
Osuna, shipped to Houston, is serving a 75-game suspension under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy, and is also facing domestic assault charges in Canada for allegations of violence against his girlfriend. His suspension will end Sunday, when he's expected to join the Astros in Los Angeles.
Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara.