12:19pm: The Royals announced that they’ve acquired minor league right-hander Carlos Mateo from the Astros in exchange for Coleman.
The 19-year-old Mateo (20 later this month) has pitched in parts of two seasons with Houston’s affiliate in the Dominican Summer League. He’s worked primarily out of the bullpen, pitching a total of 36 innings with a 3.25 ERA, 29.8% strikeout rate and 11.3% walk rate during that time. Mateo was not ranked among Houston’s top prospects and figures to report to the low levels of Kansas City’s system for the 2024 campaign.
12:10pm: The Royals are trading right-hander Dylan Coleman to the Astros, per a report from Anne Rogers and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. As pointed out by Rogers, this opens a spot on Kansas City’s 40-man roster ahead of this afternoon’s Rule 5 draft. It’s unknown what they are receiving in return but it could be a cash deal.
Coleman, 27, has been on the Royals’ roster since September of 2021, serving as an optionable depth arm in that time. He has 92 2/3 innings of major league experience to this point with an earned run average of 3.88. His 24.1% strikeout rate in that time is above average but he has also walked 13.9% of batters faced. Control was a particular problem in 2023, as he gave free passes to 19.8% of hitters in the majors and 21.8% in Triple-A.
Despite the command issues, there are reasons for the Astros to be intrigued. For one thing, Coleman still has a couple of options, meaning he won’t require an active roster spot in the short term if the control remains an issue. He also has just over a year of service time, meaning he can be a long-term piece for the club if he gets things on track. His fastball averages in the upper 90s and he has always racked up plenty of strikeouts in the minors.
Coleman will be a project for his new club whereas it would appear the Royals feel they could make better use of that roster spot in the Rule 5 draft, which begins at 1pm Central. The Royals have the second pick, with the Athletics going first.