The Jays acquired Valera in a waiver claim off the Yankees’ roster in September 2019, only for the Padres to claim him away in February 2020 before Toronto re-claimed him in July of that year. Valera spent the 2020 season on the restricted list due to travel difficulties in leaving his native Venezuela during the midst of the pandemic, but he made it back this past year and appeared in 39 games.
Valera (who turns 30 in January) hit .253/.313/.356 over 97 plate appearances in 2021, which marked his fourth season of MLB action. Over 235 PA with the Blue Jays, Yankees, Orioles, Dodgers, and Cardinals, the well-traveled infielder has a career slash line of .236/.302/.322, though he has hit considerably better in the minors, batting .303/.377/.443 over 1730 PA at Triple-A.
Known more for his versatility than his bat, Valera has played mostly at second base and third base as a big leaguer, but has played everywhere but catcher and pitcher during his minor league career. It is quite possible Valera could turn up again in North American baseball, though he’ll find more opportunity and regular playing time in a foreign league than he would battling several other free agents for minor league deals heading into the 2022 Major League season.