WEDNESDAY: The Angels have announced that they’ve outrighted Valdez and De Los Santos to Triple-A Salt Lake. As we’ve noted elsewhere, the Brewers claimed Parker off waivers.
FRIDAY: The Angels announced that they’ve designated right-handed pitchers Jose Valdez, Blake Parker and Abel De Los Santos for assignment and also outrighted infielder Rey Navarro off the 40-man roster. The moves pave way for the addition of left-hander Nate Smith and right-handers Keynan Middleton, Austin Adams and Eduardo Paredes to the 40-man roster.
Valdez, 26, posted a respectable 4.24 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with the Angels this season and averaged a robust 95.3 mph on his heater, making him at least an intriguing future option for the Halos next season. However, he also issued 16 walks, hit a batter and uncorked a pair of wild pitches in that brief time with the Angels, demonstrating enough of a control issue that the team didn’t see fit to dedicate a 40-man roster slot to him this winter.
Parker, 31, split the 2016 season between the Mariners and Yankees, totaling 17 1/3 innings of 4.67 ERA ball with 15 strikeouts against eight unintentional walks. The Angels claimed him back in earlyt October, on the heels of a season in which he actually averaged a career-best 92.2 mph on his fastball this season and does come with a 3.67 career ERA in 90 1/3 innings at the Major League level. He’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher and has averaged 10.5 K/9 in parts of nine seasons at Triple-A but has also averaged 4.2 walks per nine innings there.
De Los Santos was also an offseason waiver claim by the Angels, out of the Reds organization. De Los Santos tossed 20 1/3 innings in Triple-A this season and logged a 3.54 ERA with a 26-to-13 K/BB ratio, and he has a lifetime 3.03 ERA in Double-A as well. He has just 7 1/3 innings of big league experience under his belt, during which he’s allowed eight runs.
Among the four players added to the 40-man roster, Smith is perhaps the most interesting. The lefty had a 4.61 ERA with 7.3 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 in 150 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level last year, which doesn’t really stand out, but he does rank as the top pitching prospect in the organization, per MLB.com. The Halos will enter 2017 with Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs and Ricky Nolasco locked into rotation spots, health permitting, leaving the fifth spot up for grabs among Smith, Jesse Chavez, Alex Meyer and Daniel Wright (plus any further offseason additions).