Leo: Valbuena goes to Toronto
The Indians traded Luis Valbuena to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations on Saturday night.
Valbuena was one of the Clippers most valuable players in 2011, hitting .301 in 111 games with a career-best 17 HR and 75 RBI. He struggled in the bigs, however, going 9-for-43 (.209) in 17 games.
Entering this season, Valbuena was a .279 hitter in the minors, but just .226 in the majors.
Valbuena, 25, was designated for assignment on November 18.
His exit of the organization clears a path for Juan Diaz to be Columbus’ everyday shortstop. Diaz, recently added to the 40-man roster, joined the Clippers during the post-season, he batted .255 with 9 HR and 60 RBI in 133 Double-A games. He stole nine bases.
Diaz is very tall shortstop (listed at 6’3) that provides very good range. He’s currently playing in the Dominican Winter League trying to improve his offense.
Diaz will likely pair with Cord Phelps as the Clippers middle infield. Phelps, however, will get a chance to win Cleveland’s utility infielder job along with Jason Donald.
* Luis Valbuena and Jared Head were the Clippers best players in 2011 and neither will return in 2012. Head has signed a minor league contract with Detroit, so look for his return to Huntington Park in a Mud Hens jersey.
* Lehigh Valley announced that Ryne Sandberg will return as manager. Sandberg led the IronPigs to the Governors’ Cup Finals in his first season.
* Gene Glynn was named the new manager in Rochester. Glynn, 55, was a scout for the Tampa Bay Rays since 2007.
Have a great week!