Right-hander Jose De León is joining the Twins, with the hurler himself announcing the agreement on Twitter. Presumably, it’s a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, though no formal announcement has been made.
De León, 30, was once considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball. While in the Dodgers’ organization, Baseball America ranked him #23 in 2016 and #29 in 2017 among all prospects in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have been severely holding him back from living up to his potential since then.
He was traded to the Rays prior to 2017 but only pitched in 11 games that season. In March of 2018, he required Tommy John surgery, which wiped out that entire year. He returned and pitched in 22 games in 2019 before getting flipped to Cincinnati. He saw some brief time in the big leagues with the Reds in 2020 and 2021 but was released. For 2022, he signed a minors deal with the Jays but got hurt in the spring and didn’t make his season debut until August.
De León continues to get chances based on his previous prospect pedigree but it’s been a while since he’s had an extended period of time to showcase his skills. For the Twins, there’s little harm in adding him to their system as a depth option in case injuries elsewhere on the roster create a need for him down the line.