I mistakenly omitted this from my last post, because it barely qualifies as news, but the signed former Giant RHP Merkin Valdez to a minor-league contract.
Valdez, at one time, was seen as a potential No. 2 starter or dominant closer when he was an up-and-coming prospect in the Giants' organization.
Last year, however, he put up an ugly 7.91 ERA , 2.03 WHIP and 14.3 H/9 in 58 innings for the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate.
Now you see why this barely qualifies as news. He's minor-league depth -- nothing more.
The Dodgers also inked utility infielder Aaron Miles to a minor-league deal. This was the Dodgers' counter to losing Eric Chavez to the Yankees.
He put up a .281/.311/.317 line in 79 games with the Cardinals last year.
This signing makes no sense. I know it's just a minor-league deal, but really? What can Miles do that a guy like Justin Sellers or Ivan DeJesus couldn't do? I will say, he's a better player than Juan Castro -- but that isn't saying much.
If I had to guess, Miles will win the 25th roster spot out of Spring Training just for the sake of having a veteran presence on the bench -- even if that presence has a .230/.265/.277 slash line over the last two seasons (321 plate appearances). He can also fill in at three infield positions, which is about his only plus. He's nothing more than roster fodder.
Then there's this whole Mike Young situation. While he looks like an upgrade on the surface, minimal digging will show Young is really not much of an upgrade over Casey Blake, even as Blake's production is declining.
The No. 1 concern is Young's home/road splits. He has benefited greatly from hitting at The Ballpark in Arlington his entire career.
As you can see, the splits are quite drastic. This should be an immediate red flag. Young, while a solid hitter, hits for minimal power on the road.
And his defense is bad. Since taking over as the Rangers' third baseman in 2009, he has put up consecutive years of negative UZR/150: -9.6 and -5.8. He also, somehow, won the American League Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008 with a -4.2 UZR/150.
By comparison, Blake's UZR/150 in the last two seasons are 13.1 and 7.7. While this defensive metric isn't the be-all/end-all, it's quite telling in this case.
Oh yeah, there's also the $48 million owed to Young over the next three years. That, along with the home/road splits, should just about end the Dodgers' interest in Young.