BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 07: Danny Valencia #22 of the Minnesota Twins walks back to the dugout after grounding out against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 7, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Twins gave up on third baseman Danny Valencia over the weekend, shipping him to the Boston Red Sox yesterday in exchange for minor league outfielder Jeremias Pineda.
Valencia was awful this year, hitting .198/.212/.310 in 126 major league at-bats, with a disreputable 3/32 BB/K ratio. He wasn't too good in Triple-A either, hitting .250/.289/.399 with 15 walks and 40 strikeouts in 268 at-bats for Rochester before the trade.
Valencia had a good rookie season in 2010, hitting .311/.351/.448 (119 OPS+) in 85 games for the Twins, but pitchers found his weaknesses last year (.246/.294/.383 in 564 at-bats) and he completely fell apart this season. His glove and his intangibles weren't good enough for the Twins to ride the offensive problems out, and at age 27 he wasn't exactly a young guy that you bet the position on long-term.
What did they get in exchange? Jeremias Pineda is a 5-11, 175 pound switch-hitter from the Dominican Republic, signed by the Red Sox in 2011. He's having a great season for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, hitting .421/.447/.534 with five walks, 22 strikeouts, and 14 steals in 133 at-bats. He runs well, throws well, and is considered a good defensive player, but he's old for the level and his plate discipline leaves a lot to be desired.
Pineda is not a hot prospect at this point, but the Twins got a warm body with some tools in exchange for a guy who was no longer in their plans.