The Angels have announced their signing of right-handed pitcher César Valdez to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training camp.
Valdez heads to camp looking to land a job with a growingly deep Angels bullpen. This comes on the heels of back-to-back seasons in Baltimore, where he served as a force in 14 plus innings during the 2020 season. That year’s sharp 1.26 ERA came with an unsustainable zero home runs allowed however, and the right-hander’s ERA ballooned up to 5.87 in 46 innings (39 appearances) last season after serving up eight home runs. Valdez’s home run prevention abilities always figured to take a step back, particularly when he’s equipped with a fastball that averages just 85mph.
Valdez, who turns 37-years-old today, was designated for assignment by the Orioles at the end of last season and ultimately elected free agency. It makes sense that LA is taking a flier on the well-traveled Valdez, however. Despite last season’s rough bottom-line numbers, Valdez’s changeup ranked as one of the best in the game. Throwing his signature changeup 75% of the time, Valdez was a pro at getting opposing batters to swing at pitches outside of the zone, ranking in the 99th percentile of the league. Further, an uncharacteristically high .380 batting average on balls in play is likely to blame for some of the pitcher’s struggles. A 3.73 SIERA is the simplest metric to suggest that Valdez has plenty left in the tank.
The Angels are surely hoping for better batted ball luck this season, as Valdez can provide some extra innings in a bullpen that’s tasked with backing up one of the more fragile rotations in the league. Injury concerns and the delicate handling of reigning-MVP Shohei Ohtani should allow Valdez to soak up plenty of innings if he’s able to make the team’s Opening Day roster. Incredibly, Valdez has just north of two years of service time, meaning he can be controlled by the Angels for about as long as they’d like if they wind up catching lightning in a bottle with today’s pact.
Ok, taking a flyer on a guy who may be useful for the season… looks like Perry is continuing his pitching staff rebuild.
Wait, Shut the front door. You’re telling me we got Archie Bradley, Ryan Tepera, and Cesar Motha Trucking Valdez all on the same day.
Happy Birthday Cesar.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Well that explains why I couldn’t find his salaries on B-Ref. 37 years old & comes with 4 years of control? Don’t see that too often.
Doesn’t his Fastball top out at 83 mph?
@vaderzim The Valdez Express?
Angel fans must feel angry seeing how little Artie is doing to fix their terrible pitching staff.
Nope, 3rd BP signing today.
None of them move the needle to greatness. All 3 are thoughts and prayers to ward a championship. LOL
Maybe but if you were driving right now and got pulled over. You would move the needle on the breathalyzer
Strictly a AAA filler. The bullpen is now legit after Bradley and Tepera signed.
Lol must have been really hungover today eh
Artie might be hung over thinking any of these signings makes them better. Archie is a 50/50 chance of being a good starter. Tepera is OK but Valdez was awful last year.
Archie wasn’t even signed as a starter. maybe you should just sit this one out?
@ARC 2 You’re really not understanding much of what went on today. Maybe you better sit this one out. The Angels added a setup man, and a role pitcher with closer chops and experience.
Valdez is depth for AAA, or the 26- man if he makes it out of camp.
All of this is positive news.
Arc-You don’t know what you’re talking about. Quit while you’re ahead.
They’ve extended their star closer and added 3 very legit bullpen arms today to a unit that’s also getting back Ty Buttrey, added a high upside Syndergaard, and a wild card rotation option in Lorenzen. If they see reasonable improvement from Detmers and more of the same from Sandoval and Suarez, there’s a legit chance they can be a very solid group. Adding all this bullpen length means less taxing starts for Ohtani and Syndergaard, too.
None of it is as exciting as Ray or Gausman or Stroman, and those would have been good pieces, but they’ve *also* not signed anyone other than Iglesias this offseason past the time when Ohtani becomes a free agent. Considering Upton comes off the books this year, that leaves a *ton* of payroll flexibility to park the Brinks truck in front of his house.
Syndergaard is completely unknown since he hasn’t pitch much in 2 years. Valdez is awful. Lorenzen has not shown anything last 2 years. Buttrey another arm injury unknown. Suarez is the only one that you can count on behind Ohtani.
Buttrey didn’t injure his arm what are you even talking about? Genuinely, why are you even wandering into this discussion to talk about things with confidence that you clearly don’t know anything about? It’s okay for you to just not know things and not say things about the things you don’t know!
Buttrey never had an arm injury. He had a family member and close friend due weeks apart and needed a mental break.
Bradley isn’t a starter.
If you’re going to talk trash, please do it accurately.
Ohtani was out for 2 years too bro. You’re just a Angels hating person. Crawl back on your rock
Hey Troll.. Do you feel better about yourself now..
Man you have issues.
It’s pitching. We’re stoked!
Imagine being so pathetic you gotta troll the MLBTR of other teams lmfao
I wish Cesar well. Keep following the dream!
Man got signed on his birthday. Nice!
At this rate the conversation will do a 180.
Can he hit? Is coming within a few years…
I mean they will draft a hitter or 2 for the pipeline next time around….right?
Between these recent signings and last year’s draft, i wonder what the exact number of pitchers pumped into the system is
This year, the Angels will contend against the Astros and the Mariners for the AL West crown.
I’ll accept that prediction, but only time will really tell if all the pieces fit
He was the Cy Young and MVP in the Dominican Winter League this season. He’s arguably the best pitcher in the DWL. The unusually high BABIP combined with him being in a closers role instead of starting/long relief led to that pedestrian ERA. I’m sure he won’t be as good as he is back home but he can be a useful piece. Happy birthday “el hombre de las cinco letras”
When the guys you sign to minute deals are better than the guys who got majors deals last year….
Orioles likely lost
Finally the Halos have made some noise upgrading the bullpen, although Valdez is unimpressive. Not sure the starters they have assembled are solid enough to make this a good staff, but I am hopeful. What bothers me is that an injury to Ohtani or Syndergard is really going to kill their chances and who could they rely on to step up in that case?
Rotation depth is a big issue. I was expecting Canning to be in AAA for first man up. That will be Detmers now, barring injury.
I think Loup, Tepera, Iglesias is a great back end. However I don’t trust our starters to go more than 5 innings most night.
That burns up a bullpen quickly. Hopefully Warren, Meyers, Bradley and a long guy can be an effective bridge to the back end.
Valdez can’t break a pane of glass but the change up is really pretty good.Saw him pitch against the Red Sox early in the season and he recorded back to back saves.Hard not to root for a guy who has been in the minors for about 20 yrs.
A guy like Valdez thrives coming in after someone throwing mid-to-high 90s. The batter can’t time soft toss after watching steady heat.
How bout this guy for a spring invite ?
Ducky Buckin Fent
The Ray’s seem to always have an oddball pitcher in their ‘pens: Ziegler, Drake, Romo, Boxberger, etc.
The Mayor of Northern Virginia
This guy was stunningly effective as a closer for the O’s for a short while early last year. Gotta love a guy who throws a pitch called “The Dead Fish” with two speeds, slow and slower. Go Cesar!