As is the case every offseason, the Oakland A’s are expected to be busy this winter.
The trade of Valencia comes as no surprise. He was rumored to be on the trading block ahead of the 2016 trade deadline, but the A’s never found a deal to their liking. The likelihood of a trade then increased in August, when Valencia was involved in a physical altercation with teammate Billy Butler in the visiting clubhouse in Chicago. The incident resulted in
The A’s are now clear of both players involved after releasing Billy Butler in September. Valencia remained a regular for Oakland despite his role in the incident, but that was mainly out of necessity. However, with Ryon Healy emerging down the stretch at third base, there was no reason to involve Valencia in their 2017 plans.
As for the Mariners, they’re not too concerned about what happened in Oakland. They’re looking to add offense, and that’s exactly what Valencia will provide. The 32-year-old hit 287/.346/.446 with 22 doubles, 17 homers and 51 RBIs last season. He’s also been known to crush left-handed pitching, hitting .321/.373/.500 against southpaws over his seven-year career.
As noted by general manager Jerry Dipoto, Valencia brings versatility in the field, having spent time at first base, third base, right field and left field over his career. Third base is his primary position, though some believe he’s best suited as a strict designated hitter against lefties.
Based on Dipoto’s comments, we should expect to see Valencia all over the place in 2017 as the Mariners attempt to end their postseason drought.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
FOX MLB Analyst Frank Thomas and Big League Stew’s Mike Oz explore a pack of 1991 Donruss baseball cards.
– – – – – – –