The Royals announced they have acquired 26-year-old right-handed pitcher Albert Abreu from the Texas Rangers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Yohanse Morel. Abreu had a 3.12 ERA with 12 walks and 9 strikeouts in 8 2⁄3 innings this year.
The Dominican-born Abreu was originally signed with the Houston Astros but was traded to the New York Yankees in 2017 in a trade for catcher Brian McCann. He was a consensus top 100 prospect before the 2018 season, and made his MLB debut in 2020 with two outings. He converted to the bullpen in 2021, getting in 28 games for the Yankees with a 5.15 ERA. They traded him to Texas in the off-season for catcher Jose Trevino. Abreu missed most of May with a left ankle sprain. He returned on May 24th, but was designated for assignment on Monday. In parts of three big league seasons, he has a 5.21 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 33 walks in 46 2⁄3 innings.
As you can tell, walks have been a big issue with Abreu. He walked 4.4 per-nine innings in the minors, but that has spiked to 6.4 per-nine-innings in the big leagues. He does bring some velocity with a fastball that averages 97 mph, as well as a sinker and slider.
Yohanse Morel was acquired from the Washington Nationals in 2018 in a trade for Kelvin Herrera. He had made ten relief appearances for High-A Quad Cities this season with a 4.08 ERA and 21 strikeouts with 10 walks in 17 2⁄3 innings. The 21-year old had otherwise struggled since being acquired by the Royals, with an ERA over six in each of his last two minor league seasons.
Abreu will be added to the 40-man roster, which will require a corresponding roster move which has not yet been announced.