On Friday night, Danny Valencia suited up in Minnesota Twins attire to play third base and go 0-4 with an RBI in the second game of the four game series at Fenway. Little did he know that Fenway Park was about to become very familiar to him, as today he was traded to the Red Sox for minor league outfielder Jeremias Pineda. This is far from a big move as the Red Sox are pretty comfortable at third base with rookie Will Middlebrooks, who is hitting .292 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs this year.
However, the Red Sox may have seen the potential in Valencia’s 2010 season. That was his rookie season that saw him him .311/.351/.458 with 7 home runs and 40 RBIs for the division-leading Twins. Since then, though, Valencia has dropped off dramatically– hitting .246/.294/.383 with 15 homers and 72 RBIs last year all the way down to .198/.212/.310 with 2 home runs and 17 RBIs this season. That would be disappointing even if his defense was good, but since his rookie season, his defense has declined as well.
The Red Sox don’t have any incredibly high hopes for Valencia just yet though, as he’ll be assigned to triple-A Pawtucket at least to start his stint with the Red Sox. I see this as a good move for the Red Sox though, as they gave virtually nothing in return for Valencia– just 21 year old Jeremias Pineda of the GCL Red Sox. Pineda has hit well this year (.421/.447/.534, 14 steals), but only at the lowest level of the minors where the average age is 18 or 19. If Valencia can figure out how to hit like he did in 2010, then this is a great move for the Red Sox– if not, it still probably won’t be a bad one.