The Cincinnati Reds clearly like something they’ve seen from pitchers in the Houston Astros’ farm system.
The Reds added their third former Astro when they traded for left-handed pitcher Cionel Pérez on Saturday in exchange for minor league catcher Luke Berryhill. Pérez made seven appearances for the Astros last season, yielding seven hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings (2.84 ERA).
Pérez, who will turn 25 in April, was ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the 2017 international signing class by Baseball America. He originally signed for a $5.15 million bonus in 2016, but that deal was voided after the team found an issue with his left elbow in a physical, according to Baseball America. He later signed for a $2 million bonus.
Baseball America rated Pérez as the No. 12 prospect in the Astros’ organization prior to his rookie season in 2019. He’s a fastball-slider reliever who throws about 95 mph and has a high spin rate on his breaking ball.
Pérez joins former Astros pitchers Brandon Bailey and Hector Perez as Reds’ additions this offseason. Before the 2018 season, FanGraphs had Hector Perez ranked No. 5, Cionel Pérez ranked No. 6 and Bailey at No. 18 in the Astros’ system.
Cionel Pérez (pronounced see-oh-NELL) didn’t allow a hit to a left-handed hitter in 13 plate appearances last season. It’ll give him a chance to win a spot in the bullpen in spring training, especially if left-hander Amir Garrett moves to closer and Michael Lorenzen, who had success vs. lefties, shifts to the rotation.
Berryhill, 22, was the team’s 13th-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. He played eight games at rookie-level Greeneville.
The Reds have 38 players on their 40-man roster, though they can utilize an extra spot as Vladimir Gutierrez begins the season with a suspension.