Danny Valencia knows he worth more than a minor league contract in his return to the Baltimore Orioles.
However, the veteran infielder has made it clear he has nothing to prove in the minors and won’t accept anything less than a major league deal for 2018.
Orioles EVP Dan Duquette is on board with Valencia’s intentions at spring training and tells MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko, “He won’t be playing in the minor leagues with us.”
"He made that clear, so he’s in camp to try to make our ballclub. He made it clear that he didn’t want to go to the minors. That’s fine with us. We didn’t sign him for the minors. We signed him to see if he could help our major league club."
Valencia, 33, played 130 games last season with the Seattle Mariners hitting a slash line of .256/.314/.411. Even more, Valencia’s 66 RBIs in 2017 was just six RBIs shy of matching his career-high of 72 RBIs in 2011. Above all, it seems as if Valencia’s solid play from last season has transferred over to 2018.
Entering Thursday’s spring training schedule, Valencia has four hits in nine at-bats with a home run and four RBIs. Valencia has experienced incredible success against left-handed pitchers with a career .313 batting average versus southpaws.
The Miami native can not only help the Orioles offensively but also defensively by being able to play all four infield positions. Not to mention, Valencia has 70 career starts in the outfield, making him the ultimate utility player.
In 52 games, Valencia hit .304/.335/.553 in 2013 with the Orioles, along with eight home runs and 23 RBIs.