The Toronto Blue Jays have been looking for an opportunity to offload closer Roberto Osuna to another team. And they’ve now found a trade partner, shipping the suspended pitcher to the Houston Astros.
Toronto shipped former closer Kevin Giles and prospects David Paulino and Hector Perez to Houston in exchange for Osuna.
The latter is currently serving a 75-game suspension for violating the MLB’s domestic violence rules. Osuna will be eligible to play again on August 4.
Will Osuna be Worth the Effort?
Osuna is currently on a $5.3 million contract through 2020. This could be a bargain when considering that he has the talent to shut down the opposition.
The 23-year-old had a 2.93 ERA and 2.06 FIP in 15.1 innings with Toronto before being suspended. He’s been pitching in the minors in preparation for his return, which saw him throw six scoreless innings.
Despite Osuna’s youth and skills, his domestic violence incident became a big black mark on his career. The Blue Jays felt that they needed to part ways with the troubled closer and give him a fresh start.
Blue Jays Add Talented Bullpen Prospects
Toronto got a good haul out of the Osuna deal. And while the prospects they received are either struggling or young, they could blossom into good MLB players.
Giles has had a tough season so far with a 4.99 ERA in 30.2 innings. He even punched himself in the face after a bad outing against the New York Yankees. But Giles still has plenty of potential when looking at his 9.1 K/0 and 2.10 FIP stats.
Perez, 22, is the best-ranked prospect of the deal, sitting No. 10 on Houston’s top 30 before the trade. The right-hander has a fastball in the mid-90s and nice secondary pitches, including a splitter, slider, and curveball.
The problem with Perez so far has been his control. He’s posted a 4.8 BB/9 in 89.1 innings across two minor league levels. But Perez balances this out with a 3.73 ERA and 10/2 K/9.
It remains to be seen whether or not Perez can become a high-level starter. He’s currently at the Double-A level and could see the Majors sooner than later if he’s viewed as more of a reliever.
Paulino, 24, was once a top-100 prospect, reaching 51st on Baseball America’s list prior to 2017. He’s lost some of his luster since then, but still ranked at No. 23 on Houston’s top 30 list.
The big reason for Paulino’s fall is that he was suspended 80 games for a PED violation. The 6’7″ hurler has already played in the big leagues, posting a 6.25 ERA in 36 innings from 2016-17.
Paulino has four solid pitches, giving him starter’s value. But like Perez, he too struggles with command.
He’s posted a 4.67 ERA in the minors, which is average for a prospect. However, his 11.0 K/9 shows that he can definitely keep hitters off balance.
Odds for Blue Jays and Astros
The Houston Astros currently have the second-best odds of winning the World Series according to GTBets. They feature +450 odds right now, which ranks just behind the Boston Red Sox (+375).
Toronto is on a totally different program, though, since they have just +100,000 odds right now. It’s understandable why the Blue Jays requested low-buy prospects in return for Osuna. This is a team that’s currently just trying to get back to a respectable level.