A day after the Houston Astros acquired Martin Maldonado to address their depth at catcher, they’ve now added needed relief help to their bullpen.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Houston has acquired right-handed reliever Ryan Pressly from the Minnesota Twins.
The 29-year-old has pitched well out of Minnesota’s bullpen this season. In 47.2 innings, Pressly recorded a 3.40 ERA and struck out 69 batters. Additionally, the righty has limited opponents to a .699 OPS this season.
Pressly is owed $1.6 million this season via arbitration and is eligible for arbitration for a final time next season. He should further help solidify Houston’s bullpen and help eat some innings later in the season. Pressly has been unusually effective against left-handed batters this season with left-handed batters slashing .217/.319/.317 against him
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, the Twins will receive two prospects in return from Houston.
sources: twins receive alcala and celestino for pressly
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 28, 2018
The centerpiece of the deal is right-handed pitching prospect Jorge Alcala. Rated by MLB.com as Houston’s No. 10 prospect, the 22-year-old has an excellent fastball and used it to great success this season.
He started the season at High-A Buies Creek and excelled. In 38.2 innings, Alcala recorded a 10.47 K/9 with a 3.03 ERA. He was later promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi and has performed fairly well with an 8.19 K/9 and 3.54 ERA in 40.2 innings.
Minnesota will also receive Gilberto Celestino, ranked as Houston’s No. 15 prospect. The 19-year-old briefly appeared in Double-A but has spent the majority of his season with Low-A Tri-City. In 33 games for the ValleyCats, Celestino slashed .317/.383/.476 with 14 stolen bases and four home runs.
It marks an excellent return for Minnesota as it takes advantage of the strong need for bullpen help across the league.