January 22, 2014 at 12:47 PM
The Red Sox have announced a deal with right-handed reliever Jose Valdez on a minor league contract.
Valdez, 31, made 24 major league appearances for the Houston Astros between 2011 and 2012, posting a 5.88 ERA and 1.692 WHIP across 26 innings. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound righty was originally signed by the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic back in 2000. In 2002, Josh Boyd of Baseball America considered him to have the highest ceiling in the New York system. However, ineffectiveness and an injury that cost Valdez the entire 2005 season stunted his early development. He returned in 2006, pitching exclusively out of the bullpen, and has now logged 321 career minor league appearances.
Because he was added to the Astros major league roster in advance of the 2009 Rule 5 draft, Valdez usd the last of his major league options in 2012. He was ineffective in 2013 in the Triple-A Oklahoma City bullpen, where he had a 5.72 ERA and 1.602 WHIP in 39 1/3 innings, before getting released in mid-July.
According to David Coleman at The Crawfish Boxes, Valdez features a traditional repertoire for a right-handed power reliever: mid-90's velocity on his fastball, complemented by a slider.
While Valdez is headed to the Red Sox, two minor league free agents with major league experience signed elsewhere. Rafael Perez, the long-time Cleveland reliever who appeared in 25 games for Double-A Portland has inked a minor league deal with the Rangers. Also, Alfredo Aceves has signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles that includes an invitation to spring training. Aceves played a key role in the Red Sox bullpen in 2011, but seemingly wore out his welcome in Boston.
Photo Credit: Jose Valdez from milb.com