Luis Valbuena Rumors

Cubs Notes: Jackson, Valbuena, Stewart

Alfonso Soriano hit his 30th home run of the season last night, reaching the threshold for the sixth time in his career and for the first time since 2007. The 36-year-old now has a .261/.317/.499 batting line in 568 plate appearances this year. He'll earn $18MM per season through 2014 on a contract that no longer seems as unmovable as it once did. Here are some Cubs-related notes from Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune

  • The idea of spending $150MM-plus on an impact player such as Josh Hamilton isn’t part of the Cubs’ plan, Sullivan reports. He notes that David DeJesus’ $10MM contract and Paul Maholm’s $4.75MM contract were the largest deals the Cubs signed a year ago.
  • However, the team expects to be able to spend. "Right now it's kind of hard to say,” manager Dale Sveum said. “You just don't know who will be available. But yeah, we'll spend money somewhere."
  • The Cubs need multiple starters, multiple relievers a center fielder, and a third baseman in Sullivan’s estimation. It appears that the Cubs will give Brett Jackson another look in center field despite his poor contact rate.
  • Luis Valbuena will be tendered a contract, but Ian Stewart is expected to be non-tendered, Sullivan writes. "Valbuena is going to be part of the organization, and he does one heck of a job himself," Sveum said. MLBTR's Steve Adams discussed Stewart as a non-tender candidate last month.
  • Josh Vitters appears to be a long shot at third base, according to Sullivan.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Luis Valbuena

Let's keep track of the day's outright assignments right here…

  • The Cubs have outrighted Luis Valbuena to Triple-A, the team announced. Chicago claimed the 26-year-old infielder off waivers from the Blue Jays earlier this week. Valbuena hit .302/.372/.476 with 17 homers in 472 plate appearances for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate last year.

Cubs Claim Luis Valbuena

2:18pm: The Cubs have claimed Valbuena, reports ESPN's Keith Law (on Twitter).

2:04pm: Luis Valbuena has been claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays by an unknown team, reports Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star (on Twitter). He is out of options.

Valbuena, 26, was traded from the Indians to the Blue Jays in November. He spent the majority of 2011 with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate where he hit .302/.372/.476 with 17 homers in 472 plate appearances. The infielder played 194 games for the Indians' varsity squad in 2009 and 2010 and saw a good deal of time at second base.

Blue Jays Acquire Luis Valbuena From Indians

The Indians have traded Luis Valbuena to the Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations, according to the team's officlal Twitter account.  The infielder was designated for assignment on November 18th.

Valbuena spent the majority of 2011 with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate where he hit .302/.372/.476 with 17 homers in 472 plate appearances.  The infielder, who turns 26 on November 30, played 194 games for the Indians' varsity squad in 2009 and 2010 and saw a good deal of time at second base.

Indians Designate Luis Valbuena For Assignment

The Indians announced that infielder Luis Valbuena has been designated for assignment.  Valbuena, who turns 26 on November 30, saw a lot of time at second base for the Tribe in 2009 and 2010, but spent most of 2011 in the minors. 

Valbuena has a career .630 OPS in 806 Major League appearances with Seattle and Cleveland, but has wielded a much more dangerous bat in the minors — he has a career .304/.387/.468 line in 937 plate appearances at Triple-A.  With this minor league production in mind, it's easy to imagine Valbuena being claimed by a team looking for infield depth.

Mariners Targeting Luis Valbuena

9:00pm: The Mariners have yet to make their pitch to the Indians, according to Hoynes (on Twitter).

8:22pm: The teams are talking about a deal that would send Valbuena to Seattle and reunite him with former Indians manager Eric Wedge, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).

5:17pm: The Mariners are targeting Indians infielder Luis Valbuena as a second baseman, according to Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710 in Seattle (Twitter link). The 25-year-old appeared in 91 games for the Tribe last year, batting .193/.273/.258 in 310 plate appearances. He hit considerably better in 2009 when he posted a .250/.298/.416 line with 25 doubles.