BOSTON The Red Sox made an August waiver deal with the team theyre currently playing at Fenway Park.
The Sox dealt Dominican outfield prospect Jeremias Pineda to the Twins for struggling big league third basemen Danny Valencia, who has bounced between Triple-A Rochester and Minnesota this season.
The 27-year-old Valencia is hitting .198 for the Twins this season after leading the club with 72 RBIs last season. He was immediately optioned to Triple-A by the Sox following the deal.
Valencia finished third in AL rookie of the year voting in 2010 after hitting .311 in 85 games and smacked 45 extra base hits in 154 big league games with the Twins last year.
He struggled early. Last year he led our team in RBIs and the guy can play, said Minnesota assistant GM Rob Antony. It was a situation where he got off to a slow start, we sent him down to the minors and he was working through some things.
Its a situation where its a fresh start for him in Boston.
The 21-year-old Pineda was a late-blooming Dominican prospect that was hitting .421 (56-for-133) with 22 RBIs, 20 runs and 14 stolen bases in 36 games for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox this summer.
The switch-hitter was leading the GCL in batting average at the time of the deal, and was somebody that had caught Minnesotas eye given the close proximity of the two organizations in Fort Myers.
Pineda signed out of the Dominican a little bit older, but our staff has seen him a lot. He can run, he can hit and he can throw, said Antony. Hes got good tools. Hell go into camp next year with a chance to battle for a spot in Low-A. Hes a little bit of a late bloomer.
Valencia gives the Sox a decent emergency plan should anything happen to Will Middlebrooks down the stretch.
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer. And…
US ambassador to Japan?
Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.
The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons.
When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team."
Would he be interested?
"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.
Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.