Mariners make first move of offseason with claim of RHP Phillips Valdéz
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto’s first acquisition of the not-so-offseason is…
The Mariners have claimed the right-handed reliever off waivers from the Texas Rangers. Valdéz, who will turn 28 in two weeks, debuted in the MLB this year and posted a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings pitched, striking out 18 while walking nine.
Originally signed by the Cleveland Indians, Valdéz spent the majority of his 10-year minor league career in the Nationals organization both as a starter and a reliever. In 2018 he posted a 2.73 ERA in 135 innings pitched combined between Double-A and Triple-A.
With Triple-A Nashville in 2019, Valdéz posted a 4.92 ERA with 36 walks and 65 strikeouts over 78 2/3 innings. While those numbers were hardly stellar, it should be noted that offensive statistics were up across the board in Triple-A after the introduction of the same baseball used in the MLB.
Valdéz features a 92-94 mph fastball, a changeup and a still-developing breaking pitch. Of his 16 career innings in the majors, two have come against the Mariners. In a pair of late July outings, Valdéz gave up three hits, struck out five and allowed one earned run – a Kyle Seager solo shot at T-Mobile Park.
It should be no surprise that Dipoto’s first pickup would be a “let’s-see-what-we-got-and-if-we-can-do-something-more-with-it” type arm, similar to many we saw throughout the season in 2019. Unlike most of those acquisitions, however, Valdéz has two minor league options remaining, so if there is further development needed it can be done in the minors.
With the move, the Mariners’ 40-man roster is now at 35.
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