The latest minor transactions around the game:
- The Blue Jays activated infielder Breyvic Valera from the restricted list, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet was among those to note. Valera has been out of action since last July, when he reportedly had difficulty leaving his home country of Venezuela. The 29-year-old is now back in camp, where he’ll compete with Santiago Espinal and non-roster invitee Joe Panik for a utility infield job. Valera is out of options, so he’ll need to make the team out of camp or be exposed to other clubs. His activation puts Toronto’s 40-man roster at full capacity.
- The Padres announced the signing of Patrick Kivlehan to a minor-league contract. The deal contains an invitation to big league spring training. Now 31 years old, Kivlehan picked up 242 MLB plate appearances between 2016-18, seeing action with the Padres, Reds and Diamondbacks. He managed only a .208/.302/.401 line in that time, but he’s generally been a strong hitter in the high minors and has plenty of pro experience in both the corner infield and corner outfield. Kivlehan spent last season at the Blue Jays’ alternate training site.
- The Marlins are signing lefty reliever Steven Okert to a minor-league deal, reports Christina De Nicola of MLB.com. The deal does not come with a major league spring training invite, so he’s presumably ticketed for Triple-A Jacksonville to begin the season. Okert earned MLB time with the Giants every year from 2016-18. The 29-year-old has tossed 48.1 innings of 4.28 ERA/4.01 SIERA ball over 70 appearances at the big league level.