SEATTLE, Wash. — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that the club has acquired infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn.
With today’s transaction, the Mariners Major League 40-man roster is at 37 players.
“Danny’s skill set is a good fit for our club,” said Dipoto. “He’s been a very productive offensive player, especially against left-handed pitching. In addition, his ability to handle all four corner positons presents Scott with a welcome level of flexibility when creating lineups”.
Valencia, 32, hit .287 (135×471) with 72 runs, 22 doubles, 1 triple, 17 home runs, 51 RBI and a .346 on-base percentage in 130 games with Oakland, setting career highs in runs (72) and walks (41). He led the American League in line drive percentage (28.5%). Against left-handed pitching this past season, he hit .318 (41×129) with 7 doubles, 7 home runs, 19 RBI and a .924 OPS. Defensively, he appeared at all four corner positions: first base (18 G, 15 GS), third base (68 G, 67 GS), left field (1 GS) and right field (37 G, 36 GS).
He made his Major League debut in 2010 and finished third in American League Rookie of the Year voting. In seven Major League seasons, he has hit .271 (613×2258) with 278 runs, 127 doubles, 8 triples, 72 home runs and 303 RBI in 656 career games with Minnesota (2010-12), Boston (2012), Baltimore (2013), Kansas City (2014), Toronto (2014-15) and Oakland (2015-16). In his career against left-handers, he’s hit .321 (247×770) with 52 doubles, 4 triples, 26 home runs, 124 RBI, with a .373 on-base percentage and an .873 OPS. In his career, he has made appearances at first base (43 G, 22 GS), second base (9 G, 3 GS), third base (467 G, 447 GS), left field (33 G, 28 GS) and right field (42 G, 37 GS). He was originally drafted by Minnesota in the 19th round of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL).
Blackburn, 22 (23 on Dec. 4), combined to go 9-5 with a 3.27 ERA (52 ER, 143.0 IP) over 26 games, including 25 starts between AA Tennessee (CHC) and AA Jackson (SEA). He set career-highs in innings pitched (143.0), strikeouts (99) and games starts (25), while also tying his career-high with 9 wins. He was named to the Southern League Northern Division All-Star Team before being acquired by the Mariners along with 1B Daniel Vogelbach from the Chicago-NL in exchange for LHP Mike Montgomery and RHP Jordan Pries on July 20. He was originally drafted by the Cubs in the 1st round (56th overall) of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.