With just a few days to go before for the trade deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays have been relatively quiet. Last week, they traded RHP Deck McGuire to the Oakland A’s for cash and the week before, they claimed LHP Brad Mills off waivers from the A’s. He was sent to the Buffalo Bisons on July 24th. However, right before tonight’s game, word came out that the Jays had made a deal with the Kansas City Royals – catcher Eric Kratz and pitcher Liam Hendriks would be exchanged for third baseman Danny Valencia.
Jays fans might recognize Danny Valencia as he played with the Baltimore Orioles last season and with the Boston Red Sox for a portion of the 2012 season, so in other words, he is used to playing in the AL East.
One of Valencia’s strengths is that he has a .333 career batting average against left-handed pitching which is helpful as the Jays are currently in need of right-handed hitters, given that Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie remain on the disabled list. Last year, he had 161 at bats, eight homeruns and a batting average of .304. He had a career high of 15 homeruns with the Minnesota Twins in 2011.
With the addition of Valencia, fans can expect to see Brett Lawrie move to second base on a more permanent basis once he rejoins the team. Danny Valencia may be able to fill the gap that has been missing in Toronto’s infield.