The Orioles announced this morning that they’ve acquired left-hander Jayson Aquino from the Cardinals in exchange for cash considerations. Aquino, who turned 23 in November, was on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster and will therefore bring the Orioles’ 40-man roster count to 38. Per the O’s, the newly acquired southpaw has been optioned to Double-A Bowie.
Though Aquino has never pitched in a big league game, he’s an intriguing enough arm that he’s made his way around the league on the fringes of multiple 40-man rosters. Originally signed as an international free agent by the Rockies in 2010, Aquino was designated for assignment by Colorado in January 2015 and traded to the Blue Jays shortly thereafter. The Jays designated Aquino in May and traded him to the Pirates (also for cash), who subsequently flipped him to the Indians on July 31 (once again, for cash considerations). Upon being designated by the Indians this offseason, Aquino was claimed by the Cardinals. While Aquino has been designated several times over the past 15 months, the fact that he’s only been exposed to waivers once (and didn’t clear) indicates that a number of clubs believe that he has enough upside to merit placement on a 40-man roster.
Last season, Aquino split the season between the Class-A Advanced affiliates of the Blue Jays, Indians and Pirates, working to a combined 3.80 ERA with 5.6 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in 137 1/3 innings. Baseball America ranked Aquino near the back end of Colorado’s Top 30 prospects four times during his Rockies tenure, most recently praising a “well above average” changeup but noting that he throws the pitch too often and doesn’t field his position or hold runners well. The southpaw works in the upper 80s with his fastball, per BA, and also features a solid-average curveball.