The Oakland A's acquired their second player from the Toronto Blue Jays in less than a week, claiming utilityman Danny Valencia from the Blue Jays. Valencia was designated for assignment earlier in the week. The A's also activated switch-pitcher Pat Venditte off the DL and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. Venditte was already in Nashville on his rehab assignment.
Valencia was in the middle of his best season in the big leagues when he was let go by the Blue Jays. The Miami alum had a .296/.331/.506 line in 162 at-bats for Toronto. He hit seven homers, including one against the A's in a recent series at the Coliseum. Valencia is a career .266/.304/.415 hitter in 479 MLB games.
The Florida native and former Minnesota Twins regular has struggled historically against right-handed pitching (634 OPS), but versus lefties, Valencia has a career 864 OPS. The A's have struggled versus left-handed pitching all season. Valencia has hit righties and lefties well this season. He has received a significant boost from playing his home games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto (963 home OPS), but his .429 SLG away from Rogers would be one of the better SLG on the A's roster.
Valencia is very versatile defensively and he has appeared in games at third, second, first and in left this season for Toronto. He also has experience in right field. Valencia is arbitration-eligible at the end of this season and isn't eligible for free agency until 2018, so if he plays well for Oakland down-the-stretch, he could carve a spot for himself in the A's near-term plans.
Venditte has appeared in five minor league games since starting his rehab assignment on July 23. The switch-pitcher is working his way back from a left-shoulder issue. He has a 1.63 ERA in 38.2 minor league innings this season. Venditte didn't allow a run in 5.2 innings with the A's before landing on the DL.
The A's are also expected to add OF Coco Crisp to the active roster this week, perhaps even before tonight's game against the Orioles. The A's would need to make a corresponding 25-man roster move when they bring back Crisp.
UPDATE: The A's announced before their game against Baltimore that Crisp had been reinstated from the disabled list. The A's also recalled RHP Arnold Leon and sent down OF Jake Smolinski and RHP Dan Otero to Triple-A.