The End of the Wilson Valdez Era

It is with much sadness that the Phillies announced the end of the WIlson Valdez era today as he was traded to the CInncinati Reds for LHP Jeremy Horst.  Horst, a 26 year old reliever pitched predominately for Louisville, the AAA Affiliate of the Reds last season, going 1-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 36 games, while holding the opponents to a .219 batting average. Horst was originally drafted by the Reds in the 21st round of the 2007 draft and pitched in 12 games for Cinncinati last season going 0-0 with a 2.93 ERA.

61 thoughts on “The End of the Wilson Valdez Era

  1. Mlbtraderumors is actually is actually reporting that the Reds are close to signing Keppinger. I guess this move bodes well for Mini-Mart

    1. James, would you consider Horst a prospect? He was outrighted off the Reds 40 man roster back on Dec 5th and no one claimed him. It’s confusing to me that he wasn’t claimed since his minor league numbers look pretty decent. It’s tough for me to consider a guy who wasn’t claimed a prospect, but I hope the Phillies found a diamond in the rough.

  2. MLB traderumors is saying Keppinger is close to deal with the Rays. If they could bring someone in especially ona Minor League deal that would be good. Theriot is still out there, although he would get a Major league deal I would think

  3. Clears another $900K, along with Francisco’s $1M+ salary, to use on someone we need more – another reliever, or a more valuable bench player.

    1. I can’t agree with that. Valdez did not have good hitting, but he could field 5 positions at a decent level and one of those positions he plays at a starting level. I grew to really like Valdez.

      1. What 5 positions could Valdez play? I count 3. He isn’t an outfielder and will never be needed at first (with Howard, Thome, Wigginton, Utley and Mayberry)

    2. Actually only frees up about $400k since the replacement player on the roster will make at least the ML minimum. If M-Mart is that player, its a downgrade as well.

  4. I hate this trade. We give up one of the better bench utility infielders in the league for a pitcher who won’t crack the roster. With Utley, Rollins, and Polly all so delicate these days I think that Valdez is an important piece, but RAJ saw an opportunity to overpay for a bullpen arm and once again could not resist.

    1. “One of the better utility infielders in the league…”

      Not even close. He’s a very good defender but that’s really all he offers. There’s plenty of guys like Jeff Keppinger, Nick Punto, Ryan Theriot, etc, on this very free agent market that are much better than he is.

        1. I know Punto signed. I said the off season was full of guys better than him.

          He’s not far, far, better than minimart. They both offer the same skill set. If anything, Martinez has more value as a pinch runner. Wilson Valdez was a good player but he’s hardly irreplaceable and a “top utility infielder in the game.”

          1. … and its kind of a moot point because if Rollins gets hurt, Galvis will be making his MLB debut the next day.

            If Polanco gets hurt, Wigginton slide in to play 3rd. If Utley gets hurt, Wiggington plays 2nd base also. You could also slide Polanco over to 2nd.

  5. I like this. The only thing Valdez brought to the table was defense. Martinez and Orr bring the same thing. (not as well, but above average) If Rollins is out for an extended time Galvis has a better glove than Valdez. Martinez and Orr (I think) can also play the outfield and when Howard comes back they will most likely only keep 4 outfielders. So having a “utility guy” that can also play outfield gives them another option. Valdez wasn’t fast and couldn’t bunt. All he brought as a great glove. Orr and Mini Mart are much faster and better baserunners.(Fransden is also an option)

    Now, that said, someone like Therio would be interesting. Decent enough glove but much better bat. Someone you can actully use as a pinch hitter and expect production. Any offensive production you get from Orr, Mini Mart and Valdez is/was a bonus.

    I have no problem with this move. It actually makes a lot of sense.

      1. I once thought the same thing. But Orr can play shortstop. In fact he played 278 games at SS in the minors including 9 games in 2011 at Lehigh Valley.

        1. The fact that they play him there doesn’t mean he can actually play the position. You could put Ryan Howard at SS and he would show up on the stat sheet as having played SS. Doesn’t mean he actually has the physically to play the position at an acceptable level.

          No doubt they tried Orr at SS in LV just to see if he could handle the position in an emergency.

    1. Actually Valdez while not fast was a very fine baserunner. He did not make mistakes and went first to third as well second to home better than most of the team. Valdez is way better than Orr and Martinez.

  6. Really depends upon what they do to fill the spot. If it’s Martinez, it’s a downgrade. Sure there are some guys out there better, but are the Phillies going to sign one of them? Payroll is getting a bit tight. We can only hope.

    1. The double plays were so bad and so predicatable that they were surreal. You don’t expect a middle infielder, particularly a utility player, to hurt you so badly. The Phillies decided to free up a roster spot – I can’t kill them for this. If things don’t work out they can always get a utility guy. It’s no big deal.

  7. If Rollins gets injured, Galvis will be the replacement. Amaro pretty much said as much today by saying he’s in the mix.

    1. Very interesting. It would be nice to have a back-up catcher who could serve as a legitimate pinch-hitter. The team is going for more hitting punch off the bench – you can’t blame them for that after the last two post-seasons.

    2. What possible 3rd catcher are they going to carry? They don’t have one in the organization and they aren’t going to pay $$$ for an available FA.

  8. I don’t really understand this move when they have guys like De Fratus, Aumont, Schwimmer, etc. coming up to pitch in the bullpen. Does this mean Galvis has a shot to make the roster?

    1. Never hurts to have depth.

      I think this signing means that Martinez is the MLB back up at shortstop if Rollins gets injured in game. They’re paying Wiggington $2 million bucks and he plays 3rd, 2nd, left field, and first base.

      If Rollins gets hurt, I’d imagine they’d call Freddy Galvis up.

  9. IMO, this move is also intended to rekindle strong possibilities in Galvis’ progress despite J-Rolls’ signing a 3-4 year contract. He now knows that if/when J-Roll goes on the DL, he –Galvis–would certainly be called up. With that to anticipate, Galvis has every reason to continue to work his ethic. With Valdez remaining on the roster, Galvis could have lost some enthusiasm. Not now.

    With J-Roll’s tendency to join that DL list at least once during each season, Galvis is a strong bet to play some MLB in ’12.

    Overall good move.

  10. Wilson Valdez provided lots of fun memories. That said, he was a fungible utility infielder. Horst may be nothing. He may be a LOOGY. But with Mini Mart and Galvis, there was no need to pay Valdez $930K this year.

    Goodnight sweet prince.

    1. Mini Mart is horrible at best and Galvis needs a full year at triple a. I looked up Fungible in Websters and Mini Mart’s picture was there🙂

  11. Enough already, I get it, y’all don’t like me and my performance last year. It was my first year in the bigs, I had to adjust, I’d never been a bench player before without predictable at bats. I have decent speed and can play some defense. I’ve spent the offseason talking to utility players who’ve had success and have taken measures to be more productive. All of you bashing me are probably the same people who 12 months ago said “Galvis can’t hit” and “mayberry is a bum” so just watch, and weep, as I prove you wrong. Have some patience with players, and you will be rewarded.

    1. I hope you are the real MM and if so, kick butt man. Taking the whole utility guy discussion a little further, it’s freakin’ hard to be in that role. The guy has to play sporadically and when a guy goes down, he has to fill in for a couple of weeks or more, The guy has to prove himself and fill the gap left by the starter. Why can’t the guy step in and hit .300 and pop a couple of HRs? I guess if he could, he’d be the starter and not the utility guy.

      1. .175 AVG after the Break….which coincidentally was when he got the bulk of his PAs. 32 GS and 44 appearances after the Break so it wasnt a lack of playing time by any means. It was a clear sign that he was overmatched completely by MLB pitching.

  12. I’m frankly glad to see Valdez gone for the reason Nowheels and Catch cited. His rate of GIDPs in 2010 was downright historic. Pete Orr, Kevin Frandsen, Michael Martinez, maybe Hector Luna as well are in the mix for utility infielder. Martinez is a downgrade, but your utility infielder shouldn’t get more than 200 plate appearances in the first place.

    Horst threw 88.7 as an average fastball according to fangraphs. Slider/Changeup, threw the offspeed pitches 45% of the time. Probably fourth on the lefty depth chart behind Joe Savery and ahead of Jake Diekman.

    1. You’re ignoring the fact that our utility IF has gotten more than 200 PA each year for the past two years due to our aging, oft-injured infield.

      Last I checked, Utley, Rollins and Polly are all another year older and all are still injury prone. Thus, Michael Martinez shouldn’t be your primary backup. The guy could barely hit .200 with zero power.

  13. I could take or leave Valdez he wasn’t that good and he wasn’t that bad. I would have been more impressed had he unloaded Blanton or Polanco and found some real savings.

  14. With Rollins and Utley signed for a few more years, Galvis’ immediate future at the major league level is as a utility guy/injury replacement. Between Michael Martinez, Galvis and Pete Orr, the Phils have plenty of options at utility guy/middle infield injury replacement, and paying Valdez $1 million was no longer an attractive option.

  15. Horst has strange splits recently in which lefties hit him better than righties. In some cases, much better. Not a loogie candidate, in my estimation.

    1. They didnt release him, they dropped him from their 40 man roster. They have 10 days to trade him before he hits waivers and if he then clears waivers, he’d go to their AAA team.

      He won’t clear waivers most likely so there’s a good chance he could be traded.

      Perhaps the As need a 26 year old LH reliever?

  16. Nick (Long Island)
    Adrian Cardenas was just DFA’d by the A’s. Worth a 40 man spot by another team?

    Klaw (1:20 PM)
    Probably just an extra guy in the big leagues, but I could see someone like Houston taking a shot at him, although Altuve might make him superfluous.

  17. With the Wilson Valdez for Jeremy Horst trade Phuture Phillies will now have to fit Horst into their Top 30 Phillies Prospects – Horst made his major leagues debut on 5/28/11 and logged 62 days in the majors last season , which means he is still probably a rookie under the official definition.

    1. I believe he is. I don’t think Horst is a top 30 prospect though. A 26 year old pitcher with an 88-89 mph fastball, even as a lefty? I just think we have better players on the list.

  18. Thanks for the memories Wilson.

    I’m not sure why there’s any hand wringing. This just opens the door for Galvis to get some playing time when Jimmy goes down and IMO Galvis > Valdez. Galvis can pick it, and has some decent pop, and oh yeah, they saved $400K that they can now use to sign an International FA!!!!

  19. Valdez
    The best thing he did was shake off his catcher. Cheese wouldn’t you have loved to be on the bench at that moment.
    Cardenas would be a welcome addition to our sad bench. As for the A’s they don’t seem to have a clue anyway. They have changed some top prospect into fodder.

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