Blue Jays trade rumors: A’s, White Sox after Danny Valencia?


Alex Anthopoulos and the Toronto Blue Jays shocked the MLB at the non-waiver trade deadline. Not only did the Blue Jays add the top player available in David Price, but they also reeled in the best player that wasn’t supposed to be available in Troy Tulowitzki. The first deadline has passed, but Alex Anthopoulos isn’t done dancing yet. The recently-DFAd Danny Valencia is expected to be claimed on trade waivers today, opening the Blue Jays to the possibility of one final deal.

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Teams will be able to place a claim on Valencia and priority will be given to the team with the worst record in the American League, working upwards through the entirety of the AL first before opening up to the NL, but the process is unlikely to make it that far. Valencia has put together a very strong year for the Jays with a slash line of .296/.331/.506, and has shook the label of a lefty-masher with a higher OPS against right-handed pitchers in 2015. He offers the ability to play at at first base, second (in a pinch), third and left field.

According to a report from Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the White Sox, Rangers and Orioles are all expected to place claims on Valencia and have emerged as “three of the likeliest destinations”. When a team does place their claim, it opens up a two day window in which they can negotiate a trade with the Blue Jays. Judging by comments Anthopoulos made following the recall of Munenori Kawasaki, Toronto’s likeliest target is a player that offers 2B/SS depth on the back end of the Major League roster.

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Valencia may not make it to the White Sox, though, especially with the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox lurking at the bottom of the American League. Oakland would be especially intriguing, as Jeremy F. Koo of Athletics’ Nation explores here. Koo notes that Oakland ranks 20th in the MLB in terms of wRC+ against lefty pitching, and Valencia could provide a high-quality backup to Brett Lawrie at third and see time in the outfield when Coco Crisp needs time off.

Valencia’s control through 2017 should also appeal to Oakland, who will see Crisp, Sam Fuld and Josh Reddick hit free agency following next season. General manager Billy Beane has rarely been one to pass up on fair-priced and controllable talent, either.

Kawasaki’s place on the 25-man just doesn’t seem terribly sustainable, but if Anthopoulos is not able to acquire immediate infield depth either through Valencia or via another avenue over the coming days, he’s likely to stick until Devon Travis returns from injury. The oddity of an eight man bullpen remains, and if or when this unknown final addition is made to the Blue Jays roster, Aaron Loup is looking like the odd man out.

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