The Blue Jays have claimed Cesar Valdez off waivers from the Athletics, the clubs announced. He’ll open his tenure at Triple-A Buffalo on optional assignment. Toronto has designated righty Mat Latos to clear a 40-man spot.
Valdez, 32, made it back to the big leagues with the A’s after a long layoff. While he was hit hard in 9 1/3 frames — his first since way back in 2010 — the veteran evidently showed enough to catch Toronto’s eye. Valdez did make an interesting showing last year at Triple-A with the Astros, spinning 180 innings of 3.25 ERA ball with 7.0 K/9 against just 1.0 BB/9.
He’ll take over the 40-man spot that had been held by Latos, who was also occupying a spot in the MLB rotation. With Neil Ramirez heading onto the active roster after he, too, was claimed, there was a need to open space there as well.
Latos, who’s still just 29 years of age, made three starts for the Jays. But he lasted only 15 innings and gave up 11 earned runs on 19 hits — five of them homers — while compiling ten strikeouts against eight walks. On the positive side, Latos was sitting at 91.9 mph with his fastball, up a tick from last year, and had produced an 11.0% whiff rate in the short sample.