Dodger Chatter: Dodgers add Breyvic Valera to 40-man Roster

The wheels with the Dodgers front office just never stop turning even on April Fools’ Day. The rumor that the Dodgers would swap outfielder Matt Kemp for Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun would have to logically speaking be an April Fool stunt. Nothing could be gained for the Dodgers in such  a transaction, either in performance or in payroll management.

On Sunday, another announcement came across the wires that is now a fait accompli. It does not have baseball household names such as Kemp and Braun, but nonetheless is interesting and perhaps even a beneficial move by the Dodgers during the 2018 season. That most likely depends on the injury picture that unfolds during the season and beyond that looks some second base insurance moving into the 2019 season and perhaps beyond that.

FAZ completed a trade with the Cardinals in which they acquired  26-year-old infielder Breyvic Valera from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for 22-year-old minor league outfielder Johan Mieses.

Mieses hit .247 with 96 doubles, 13 triples, 68 home runs and 207 RBI in 411 career minor league games over five seasons in the Dodgers organization but ran into an offensive wall with the Tulsa Drillers during the 2017 season. Additionally, he is certainly backed up behind a plethora of outfielders at the minor league and major league level within the Dodgers organization.

Valera was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cardinals on May 16, 2010. He is certainly a player that the Cardinals did not want to lose but removing him from the 40-man roster made him available. He was expected to compete for a spot on the 2018 25-man St. Louis roster but his trusty bat suffered perhaps its first real lapse during spring training. It seems spring training statistics are important, at least with the Cardinals, and he became the victim of the numbers game and the odd man out.

The Dodgers moved in quickly when the Montalban, Venezuela native was designated for assignment by the Cardinals. Perhaps that explains why right-hander Cory Mazzoni was placed on waivers by the Dodgers after having claimed him on waivers from the Cubs just three days earlier. That is, to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Valera.

So what caught the eye of FAZ with Valera? I expect it is that he fits the profile of the players they like to add for depth at the MLB level. He is a switch hitter and although primarily a second baseman (418 games), he has had experience at third base (52 games), shortstop (121 games) and the outfield (149 games).

He also has an impressive minor league resume with a lifetime batting average of .303 over eight seasons. During the 2017 season with the AAA Memphis Redbirds he hit .314 with eight home runs, 41 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases.

From July 4 through the end of the 2017 season, Valera ranked 12th among all minor leaguers with a .359 average including 24 multi-hit games . During one stretch his bat was especially hot with a 26-game hitting streak. From July 30 through August 29 he hit .366 with a .415 OBP .

The 5’10”/184-pound Valera struck out just 34 times in his 424 at-bats during the 2017 season.  During his 800 minor league games he has posted a .359 OBP while striking out 236 times in 2948 at bats. He walked 260 times.

John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, appeared to be especially high on Valera and  in mid-February considered him to be a viable option for a bench option with the Cardinals

In discussing bench options, Mozeliak said, “The one I wouldn’t lose sight of is Breyvic, from an offensive standpoint. He is a switch hitter. He really can play anywhere. If you’re looking at a 25th man. . . if there’s a left-handed bat, what could it be? Well, the one guy internally I feel like we overlook is Breyvic.”

Mozeliak most likely was not pleased to lose Valera but could at least acquire another prospect for him in a trade. No doubt FAZ is pleased to add another versatile young, experienced player  to their stable of versatile infielders.

The 2016 Venezuelan Winter League Most Valuable Player was a September call up with the Cardinals in 2017 and had but one hit in 10 at bats.

Breyvic Valera will start the current season with the Oklahoma City Dodgers and has two option years left. A call up by the Dodgers at some point during the current campaign is not out of the realm of possibilities.

UPDATE

DODGERS ACQUIRE JESUS LIRANZO FROM ORIOLES

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired right-handed pitcher Jesus Liranzo from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league left-handed pitcher Luis Ysla. Liranzo will be optioned to Double-A Tulsa.

Liranzo, 23, has gone 7-8 with two saves and has posted a 3.71 ERA in 91 career minor league games (15 starts) over five professional seasons with the Braves (2012-13) and the Orioles (2013-17) organizations. He has held hitters to a career .194 average and has struck out 202 batters in 170.0 innings.

In 2017, Liranzo spent the entire season with Baltimore’s Double-A Bowie, going 3-4 with two saves and posting a 4.85 ERA (35 ER/65.0 IP) in 31 games (12 starts). He struck out 75 batters against 43 walks in 65.0 innings, while also holding the opposition to a .224 average.

The Dominican Republic native was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Braves on May 4, 2012.

Ysla, 25, split the 2017 season between the Red Sox Double-A Portland and the Dodgers Double-A Tulsa, combining to go 1-5 with one save and posting a 5.28 ERA (34 ER/58.0 IP) in 36 relief appearances.

In order to create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred right-handed pitcher Tom Koehler to the 60-day disabled list (retroactive to March 26). Koehler started the season on the 10-day DL after suffering a right shoulder strain during Spring Training.

 

Posted by DodgerChatter

I have been a Dodger fan longer than many of you have been alive. I picked the name Dodger Chatter so that you can call me DC. That way, LA Dodger Talk can be the home of AC/DC! I particularly enjoy following the minor leaguers.

This article has 36 Comments

  1. Nice post DC! This is a typical FAZ move and a good one. They pick up a switch hitting utility man with a plus glove and consistent .300 contact hitter with gap power who was one of the Cards final cuts and 2 option years left for a lottery ticket OF who stalled at Tulsa and is uber blocked by more advanced prospects. They upgraded an area of need by dealing from surplus. More of these kinds of deals please!

    Not sure what some fan’s problem with Roberts is but he does a superior job of keeping all 25 guys involved and managing the egos. He is not the only manager who shuffles lineups constantly, Maddon and Hinch being prime examples. His in game moves are improving including bullpen usage and he seems willing to give the starters a bit more rope so far this year. The only issue I have is keeping Joc up but I understand the logic. I just think he is ill suited to a part time role and not a good pinch hitter. Font may surprise some people-he does nothing but throw strikes and has 4 pitches. Chargois is another find who has filthy stuff and a good heater. Cingrani has looked really solid too and the starters have all looked in mid season form. Ryu has struggled with Az in the past and gets a tough test tonight but looked good against the Angels in his last start. The Dodger hitters should enjoy hitting off Walker and they miss both Greinke and Ray for this series getting Godley and Corbin instead.

  2. So far, all 4 starters have pitched extremely well. Let’s see how it goes with Ryu tonight.-

    Chargois and Cingrani could be our 8th inning guys, but it’s way early. It would be nice to have a L/R option and I don’t mean Vindette although he wil l likely be back.

    It’s too early to say anything about the hitters.

  3. I could not see what Doc did wrong either. The bull pen looks strong. Everyone did their job but Jansen. I am glad Doc stayed with the starters longer. He needs to trust them more than last year.

    1. I thought you were a day late for April Fools Day, then I checked the line up. I’m still having to go with my first explanation (April Fools Day a day late) as I have no other explanation for why Roberts is batting Joc lead off. Oy . . .

        1. This may seem unfair to Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo, but the Dodgers have lots of reasons to try and rehabilitate Joc Pederson. Before I continue, let me remind you that several years ago, I said that Joc was no better than a 4th or 5th outfielder. That may still hold true, but the jury is out. He has prodigious power and that can’t be taught. Again, I am not a Joc Pederson fan, but I see what is happening.

          By playing Joc, they are trying to build his confidence. That’s good for the Dodgers if he can become a solid player because they can (a) win with him; or (b) trade him for considerable value. It’s possible, they know more than we do about Seager’s elbow. If it blows out, Chris Taylor might be the SS and Toles or Pederson will take over in CF.

          I would take Toles over Pederson any day, but you have to look at the big picture: What if the Dodgers have both? The Dodgers are going to give Joc EVERY opportunity at the MLB level and if he seizes the day, GREAT! If he doesn’t he goes back to OKC and Toles comes up.

          I’d rather have Toles, but I know what they are doing… and I am OK with it!

          1. Playing Joc makes sense to me. Not sure he is a pressure player so was surprised to see him leading off. Would have though batting in low pressure spot like 7 or 8 would make more sense

  4. If you are interested in the Dodgers system and player development acumen, I’d suggest tracking the Tulsa Drillers.
    `
    It’s a prospect-laden team, headlined by Yadier Alvarez, DJ Peters, Keibert Ruiz, Dennis Santana and Will Smith also starring Caleb Ferguson, Drew Jackson, Luke Raley, Errol Robinson, Josh Sborz and Devin Smeltzer.

    1. The Drillers are loaded, but so is RC and GL and then there are the Rookie Leagues…

      … and I forgot about OKC with Toles, Segedin, Verdugo, Buehler,Locastro, Ramos, Liranzo, Parades, Owens, (maybe Urias) and others.

      This system is deep.

    1. No reason to nibble with two outs and a three run lead. Hammy or no hammy you can’t walk people there.

  5. 08.26 in the UK and that is a hard loss to take.
    Font did great, but ran out of steam.

    Longest game in Chase Field history.

    CK will go 9 tonight.

    1. The team hit a lot of missles for outs. That game should have been won easily. Walks by Ryu and Jansen killed them. Tough luck for Font. He was actually out of gas the prior inning. Bad pitch call by Yasmani to end the game.

  6. In a airport in Maui HI ..
    Charged my phone ahead by 3.
    Tough, but welcome to the Blue
    Mr. Font.

  7. With Stripling pitching in the 10th and Font the only one left in the pen Roberts elects to take Stripling out after his 1 inning and turn the game over to Font with no one left in the pen, why not let Stripling (who is the multiple innings eater) keep going until Font is needed?
    The Dodgers have released the RCQ roster.

  8. The Dodgers have agreed to a minor-league deal with veteran right Daniel Hudson, skipper Dave Roberts tells reporters including Pedro Moura of The Athletic .

  9. According to baseball America Dodgers have,
    Signed: RHP Logan Ondrusek (did not play in 2017)
    Released: RHP Jordan Jankowski | RHP Osiris Ramirez | LHP Cesar Ramos | LHP Christian Stolo | LHP Francis
    Cespedes | C Shawn Zarraga | 3B Jose Brizuela | SS Kevin Lachance
    Traded: RHP Adam Bray to Twins and C Garrett Kennedy and OF Ariel Sandoval to Mariners for cash
    Loaned to Mexican League: RHP Saul Castellanos (to Laguna)

    The Los Angeles Dodgers signed free-agent C Cael Brockmeyer (Cubs) to a minor league contract Friday, March 30. He is expected to report to Class AAA.

  10. “No, it’s not mechanic,” Jansen said. “He just got me. Who cares? Who cares? It’s one game.”

    Well, we care, you dumb ass. And so should you.

  11. I’m wondering if Jansen is suffering from the Tom Niedenfuer syndrome. Niedenfuer was never the same after the 1985 post season.

  12. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Dodgers had entered Monday’s game with a 364-0 record when entering the ninth inning with a three-run lead over the past eight seasons.

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