BUFFALO, NY – Today the Toronto Blue Jays announced the signings of RHP PAOLO ESPINO and C PAYTON HENRY to Minor League contracts, with invitations to Major League Spring Training.
Espino pitched last season in the Washington Nationals organization, marking his fourth straight season pitching in the Majors. The previous two seasons the righty split time between the Nationals starting rotation and the bullpen, racking up 19 starts in each the 2021 and 2022 seasons, respectively.
The 36-year-old also spent time with the Rochester Red Wings in 2023, logging 13 starts for the Bisons’ closest rival. Espino made a total of 13 starts for the Red Wings, including a pair against Buffalo. His final Triple-A outing of the 2023 campaign came at Innovative Field tossing 6.0 innings for Rochester in a losing effort against the Herd on July 9.
Espino was originally selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. The right hander made his Major League debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017, making six appearances for the team. He also spent time with the Texas Rangers. The veteran has logged 94 total appearances across parts of five MLB seasons.
He has also made 120 career Triple-A starts as part of 154 total Triple-A outings. Espino has a career 46-42 record in Triple-A which includes a pair of complete games.
Henry joins the Blue Jays organization after spending the 2023 campaign with the Nashville Sounds, the Triple-A affiliate of Milwaukee. He was originally a 6th round pick of the Brewers in the 2016 MLB Draft and was traded to the Miami Marlins in 2021 in exchange for RHP John Curtiss.
The 26-year-old made his MLB debut on September 17, 2021 for the Marlins against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He recorded his first career Major League hit in the game, a double in the fifth inning off of RHP Wil Crowe. Henry has appeared in 20 career MLB games, all with Miami between the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Henry returned to the Brewers organization last season and played 65 games for the Sounds. He batter .378 (17-45) with five multi-hit games in the month of May, including three straight multi-hit performances in the first half of the month. The backstop also hit .300 (9-30) in September to finish the season with an overall .294 batting average with 9 home runs and 35 RBIs.
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