Blue Jays swing yet another trade to acquire more pitching depth

This under-the-radar move could benefit the Blue Jays down the road
Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers / Gunnar Word/Texas Rangers/GettyImages

With the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen decimated by injuries and ineffectiveness in recent weeks, they finally made another desperate move to help bolster their pitching depth. On Sunday, the Blue Jays acquired right-handed pitcher Yerry Rodríguez from the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor league prospect Josh Mollerus.

Rodríguez was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Rangers back in 2015. After spending seven seasons developing in their minor league system, he finally made his MLB debut in 2022 as a late-season call-up. Since then, Rodríguez has split his time between the Rangers and their Triple-A minor league affiliate Round Rock Express in the past two seasons.

At the big league level with Texas, he has compiled a 1-1 record with a 7.11 ERA, 1.71 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 31.2 innings pitched in 26 appearances, including one start. However, he has shown much more of his potential and sustained success playing in their minor league system, with a combined 29-17 record, 3.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP with 465 strikeouts in 395.2 total innings pitched. This year, Rodríguez has appeared in 12 games for the Rangers, posting a gaudy 6.88 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. His ongoing struggles at the major league level perhaps played a role in him being ultimately designated for assignment this past week, leading up to the eventual trade with the Jays.

As for Mollerus, he is a former 10th-round pick by the Blue Jays back in the 2023 MLB Draft. Following a solid first professional baseball season with the Jays’ Single-A affiliate Dunedin Blue Jays, Mollerus began this year with the Jays’ High-A affiliate Vancouver Canadians. In 22 relief appearances to date, he had amassed a 1-4 record with a 4.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, along with a whopping 43 strikeouts in just 29 innings of work. 

Following the acquisition of Rodríguez, he was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo where he will serve as valuable pitching depth in the organization. But given the Jays current state with their big league bullpen, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Rodríguez up with the big league team soon in the not-so-distant future.