Valera was placed on the restricted list last July when it was rumoured the infielder was having trouble getting out of his Venezuela. The 29-year old last played in the majors in 2019 seeing action in 17 games for the Yankees and Blue Jays.
In 54 games over three seasons, the infielder has hit .223/.294/.298 with 27 hits including one homer in 138 plate appearances. Valera could add some positional flexibility off the bench as he has spent time at second, third, shortstop and right field thus far in his MLB career.
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If Valera can outshine veteran Joe Panik this spring, he may find his way onto the Jays bench in a utility role. Toronto reclaimed Valera last July from the Padres who had plucked him from the Blue Jays the February before.
In parts of 10 minor league seasons, Valera is a career .299/.360/.397 hitter with 37 home runs and 105 stolen bases in 4099 plate appearances.
As it currently stands one of either Rowdy Tellez or Randal Grichuk may be the odd man out from game to game depending on who has the hot hand. Tellez will share the first base duties with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. while Grichuk is log jammed in a 4-man outfield.
The back-up catcher and either Panik or Valera could round out the Jays bench should they opt to go with an extra reliever in the bullpen. Outfielder Jonathan Davis could also be in the mix for a bench role depending how the roster shapes out.
The Blue Jays kick off their Grapefruit League season this afternoon versus the Yankees as the team begins to prep for the upcoming campaign and newly reinstated Valera will be in the mix.