A's trade Danny Valencia to Mariners, who pick up a lefty-crushing bat
Minor league pitcher Paul Blackburn goes to Oakland in the deal for Valencia
Two teams expected to be active this offseason have consummated a deal with one another. The Athletics will send utility man Danny Valencia to the Mariners in exchange for minor-league pitcher, the teams announced on Saturday (Jeff Passan of Yahoo had Valencia being traded first).
Valencia, 32, hit .287/.346/.446 (119 OPS+) with 22 doubles, 17 homers and 51 RBI last season in 517 plate appearances last season for the A's. He spent time defensively at first base, third base, right field and left field. He's a third baseman by trade.
The righty-swinging Valencia crushes lefties. Over the course of his career, he has hit .321/.373/.500 against southpaws.
Seager is obviously cemented at third base, so perhaps Valencia is an option at first base against lefties. He could also pair well with Smith in a platoon that would have the capability of performing offensively like an All-Star (see Valencia's line against lefties above and put it with Smith's career .272/.355/.472 line against right-handers).
So Valencia is a really good fit with the Mariners as things stand. Keep in mind, Jerry Dipoto made a ton of moves last offseason, so this is still likely a work in progress anyway.
Blackburn, a 22-year-old right-hander, came to the Mariners along with Vogelbach in the trade that sent lefty Mike Montgomery to the Cubs in July. In 143 innings in Double-A in 2016, Blackburn was 9-5 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 99 strikeouts against 35 walks. He was the 56th overall pick in 2012 out of high school.
One wouldn't expect Blackburn to be in Oakland's immediate plans in the rotation, but he certainly has a shot to make The Show in 2017, should he pitch well in Triple-A while the big club rebuilds.
As with the Mariners, expect A's boss Billy Beane to continue to stay active through much of the offseason. Valencia will likely soon be joined by a few other veterans heading out of Oakland.
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