11/26/11 6:04 PM EST
Blue Jays acquire Valbuena from Indians
Infielder heads to Toronto in exchange for cash considerations
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Valbuena, who showed promise a couple of seasons ago with the Tribe, had been designated for assignment on Nov. 18 to clear a spot on Cleveland's 40-man roster. With the move, the Blue Jays now have 40 players on their 40-man roster.
This past season, the 25-year-old Valbuena excelled with Triple-A Columbus, but that success did not carry over to the big leagues. In 17 games with Cleveland, he hit .209 with one home run during a run as a fill-in outfielder for the Indians' injury-riddled roster.
It was a rough showing that followed a disappointing 2010 season, when Valbuena hit .193 with two homers and 24 RBIs in 91 games for Cleveland. That was a considerable drop-off from Valbuena's promising 2009 tour, during which he hit .250 with 10 homers, 25 doubles and 31 RBIs over 103 games.
Valbuena's performance at Triple-A this year is one reason a team like Toronto would take a chance on him. Over 113 games for Columbus, he hit .302 with a .372 on-base percentage, 17 homers, 22 doubles and 75 RBIs.
The left-handed hitter has played in 229 Major League games over four seasons for Seattle (2008), and Cleveland (2009-11), recording a .226 average with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs.
Cleveland removed Valbuena from its roster in order to add left-hander Scott Barnes, righty Danny Salazar and infielder Juan Diaz. The trio of additions will subsequently be protected from selection in the Rule 5 Draft during the upcoming Winter Meetings.
The Tribe's roster is currently at capacity, but the club will need to remove a player within the next few days due to the signing of center fielder Grady Sizemore. Cleveland will likely announce a move on Monday or Tuesday in order to officially add Sizemore to the active roster.