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The Astros have dealt a bullpen piece to Cincinnati.
Left-handed reliever Cionel Perez is headed to the Reds in exchange for minor league catcher Luke Berryhill. The trade, while under the radar on the surface, provides the Reds with a lefty in their bullpen, and the Astros more organizational depth at backstop.
Perez is only 24-years-old, having pitched to a respectable 2.84 ERA in seven appearances last season. Control has been an issue with Perez in Houston, but the Reds clearly feel he’s worth taking a flier on. It’s tough to blame them given his mid-90’s fastball and breaking stuff is enough to make most hitters swing and miss out of the ‘pen.
Why would the Astros give up on Perez?
Sadly for Houston, it has little to do with Berryhill’s success at the minor league level, as he has only a few at-bats in Rookie League. He was a 13th round draft pick in 2019, so perhaps the Astros know something we don’t. But, given the team has had an up close and personal look at Perez for quite some time, they must feel there’s nothing left for him to offer their bullpen.
The Astros have improved their ‘pen over the past few weeks, adding the likes of Pedro Baez as a setup man, or even a closer should Dusty Baker want to employ him in that regard.