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Blue Jays reportedly sign right-handed pitcher Paolo Espino

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Photo credit:© Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
3 months ago
We’ve got ourselves a transaction!
The Toronto Blue Jays added to their pitching staff on Saturday, as the team signed right-hander Paolo Espino to what’s presumably a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Born in Panama, Espino was selected by Cleveland in the 10th round of the 2006 draft from the well-known baseball factory IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He spent seven years in Cleveland’s system and had some strong results, including a 2.77 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A in 2011, but never got called up to the big league club.
Espino finally broke through into the Major Leagues during the 2017 season as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. As a 30-year-old rookie, Espino posted a 6.00 ERA across 12 appearances with the Brewers and Texas Rangers.
After being released by the Rangers a few weeks into the 2018 season, Espino signed with the Washington Nationals and wound up spending the next six years with the organization. He didn’t pitch with the Nats during their World Series campaign in 2019 but he put up a 4.91 ERA over 233 innings for the club between the 2020 and 2023 seasons.
Last year, Espino made 13 starts for Washington’s Triple-A affiliate and he threw four innings in the big leagues, which is the same sort of role we can expect him to have with the Blue Jays this year. Espino will be a veteran arm for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, much like Drew Hutchison and Casey Lawrence were last year.
The Blue Jays currently have Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Chris Bassitt, and Yusei Kikuchi locked into the starting rotation with Alek Manoah the most likely candidate for the fifth spot. Also in the mix could be Ricky Tiedemann, Mitch White, Bowden Francis, and possibly other journeymen the Blue Jays add this winter, like Espino.

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