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Mariners acquire 3B Danny Valencia from Athletics

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The Mariners officially acquired third baseman Danny Valencia from the Athletics on Saturday, per reports by MLB.com’s Jeff Passan and Greg Johns. The club will send minor league RHP Paul Blackburn to Oakland in a 1-to-1 trade.

Valencia had a banner year with the Athletics, batting .287/.346/.446 with 17 home runs in 517 PA and putting up 1.1 fWAR in his first full season in Oakland. The 32-year-old was primarily stationed at third base during the first half of the 2016 season, but a clubhouse altercation with Billy Butler in August and poor defensive instincts at the hot corner resulted in diminished playing time. He profiles well in right field and first base, where he might provide the Mariners with a decent platoon option in addition to his right-handed bat. It’s unlikely that he’ll see enough time at third base to present any kind of threat to Kyle Seager, Seattle’s long-established third baseman.

Blackburn was acquired by the Mariners in July as part of the deal that sent left-hander Mike Montgomery to the Cubs. He split his season between the Mariners’ and Cubs’ Double-A squads, posting a 3.27 ERA and striking out 99 batters over 25 starts and 143 innings. According to MLB.com’s top prospect list, the righty was ranked as Seattle’s 18th best overall prospect in 2016.

Mariners’ GM Jerry Dipoto issued a statement following confirmation of the deal:

Danny’s skill set is a good fit for our club,” Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He’s been a very productive offensive player, especially against left-handed pitching. In addition, his ability to handle all four corner positons [sic] presents Scott with a welcome level of flexibility when creating lineups.

Valencia will remain under club control through the 2017 season.

Angels place Andrew Heaney on 10-day injured list

Andrew Heaney
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The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.

It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.

Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.

In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.