The Padres announced Wednesday that they’ve claimed infielder/outfielder Breyvic Valera off waivers from the Blue Jays. In order to open a spot on the 40-man roster, San Diego has placed right-hander Anderson Espinoza on the 60-day injured list. Espinoza underwent Tommy John surgery late last April.
Valera, 28, was designated for assignment earlier this week when Toronto finalized its one-year deal with reliever Rafael Dolis. Valera spent time with both the Jays and Yankees in 2019, though he appeared in just 17 games and took just 52 plate appearances. Overall, Valera has appeared in the Majors with five teams but played in just 54 games, hitting .223/.294/.298 in 138 trips to the plate.
Lack of MLB track record aside, the switch-hitting Valera is the owner of a .302/.374/.442 slash in 1550 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. Coupled with his defensive versatility –he’s played second base, third base and all three outfield positions — it’s easy to see why so many clubs have been intrigued by his skill set and taken brief looks at him. At this point, however, Valera has exhausted all three of his minor league option years, meaning he’ll need to break camp with the Padres (or another club) or else be traded or placed on waivers once again.