Danny Valencia’s year-long tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays officially came to an end Monday, when the Oakland Athletics claimed him on waivers.
The Blue Jays unexpectedly designated Valencia for assignment Saturday after deciding to play Ben Revere every day and determining that they preferred Chris Colabello to Valencia, also a right-handed hitting bench player. Ultimately, the Blue Jays had to make a tough call.
“Danny’s been awesome. Danny’s been great. He’s playing great,” GM Alex Anthopoulos said Saturday. “Danny was 10 out of 10. Tremendous. Well-liked. Well-liked in the clubhouse. It’s not an easy decision to make.”
Valencia hit .296 with an .838 on-base plus slugging and seven home runs with Toronto while playing left field, right field, first base, second base and third base in a utility role. A lifelong lefty-masher, Valencia owns a career .864 OPS against southpaws.
While the Blue Jays won’t get any players in return for Valencia, they clear a roster spot and approximately $577,000 in salary. They initially acquired him from the Kansas City Royals before last year’s July 31 trade deadline.
The Blue Jays made a claim of their own Monday, adding right-handed reliever Ben Rowen from the Chicago Cubs and assigning him to triple-A.