Apr 26, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro (15) and relief pitcher Raul Valdes (44) celebrate after defeating the Oakland Athletics 7-6 at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
::SARCASM ALERT:: In a move destined to change the season, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired prized pitcher Raul Valdes from the Houston. The 36 year old lefty was so highly sought after that it took an undetermined mystery player-to-be-named in order to acquire his services. It’s hard to see why anybody wouldn’t want a relatively career minor league player that sports a career 5.13 ERA.
Oh! That’s because he’s a left handed bullpen arm that might be able to start a game… maybe. Obviously, Valdes is extremely important as the Blue Jays have yet to make any announcement about it. There must be a press conference of some sort.
Here is some more information on the Jays newly acquired player.
- He became a major league player at the spry age of 32.
- Toronto makes this Valdes’ 8th home in 8 years of professional ball. If you include his stint in Independent Leagues, Valdes split 1 season between 2 teams (Nashua and New Jersey). His life motto is “Have Bag, Love Travel”
In all seriousness (if that’s possible), Valdes is intriguing as he does have the ability to strike people out armed with solely an 88 MPH FB and a tough slider that has great movement horizontally, while also dropping a bit vertically. It generates a high K/9 (9.43 career K/9). It’s also a bit misleading. According to Fangraphs, you’ll also see a K% of 24.5 for his career, as well as a current 21% for 2014. That means Valdes sees a lot of batters. And in 3.2 IP this season, he’s seen 19 hitters, walking 4 and giving up 5 hits. So his command is spotty (and that’s putting it nicely).
So it’s no wonder why the Astros were quick to make the announcement of the trade, and why the Blue Jays were more stealth. Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos must be working on that winning team in Buffalo again. So the question remains, who do you think the Astros are receiving in return?