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Giants acquire “guy who can play everywhere” Breyvic Valera from the Orioles

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Here’s to the first move of 2019.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Just as I started wondering if Farhan Zaidi was still hungover from a New Year’s celebration, the Giants went ahead and acquired Breyvic Valera, an infield/outfield versatility player — who primarily mans second base — from the Baltimore Orioles. This makes Valera the 39th man on the 40-man roster.

The Orioles designated Valera for assignment on Friday and he reunited with familiar face Zaidi, who was the GM at the helm of the Dodgers when he was acquired from the Cardinals last April.

Here are some fun facts about Valera so Giants fans can get to know him better:

  • He was signed by the Cardinals as a Venezuelan international free agent in 2010.
  • He was once a Top 30 prospect within the Cardinals minor league system.
  • He plays basically everywhere: second, third, short, left, and center
  • He’s a switch-hitter!
  • He’s proven to be fairly successful in the minor leagues, hitting .299/.333/.405 and he consistently hits around .300 at every minor league level
  • He won the Venezuelan Winter League MVP in 2016. That’s gotta count for something.

Here are some not-so-fun-facts:

  • His success has not necessarily translated at the major league level. Between his 74 at-bats across three teams (STL, LA, BAL), Valera is batting only .216 with eight RBIs, and zero home runs. And although he’s been known to be speedy, he has only logged one stolen base.
  • On top of that, he has spent eight years in the minors (silver linings is that he’s only three days shy of 27 - plenty of time to develop further in the majors)
  • While he can play all over the field, I can’t seem to find anything about his defensive prowess. Not a great sign when you’re playing in a place like AT&T Park.
  • His name is not Bryce Harper.

Unclear to me how Zaidi and Bruce Bochy intend on utilizing Valera next season, but because of his versatility, they have plenty of options — something I’m sure Boch is salivating over.

So just so we are on the same page, the acquisitions thus far in the offseason are:

Mike Gerber (OF)

Travis Bergen (LHP)

Drew Ferguson (OF)

Pat Venditte (ambidextrous!)

Breyvic Valera (utility)

With all the holes the Giants have to fill next season, I’m not sure what I expected Farhan to do, but it does feel slightly underwhelming. I’m starting to get the feeling that next year will have a similar vibe to the 2018 season, minus the excitement of getting a player like Andrew McCutchen.

What is everyone else feeling about the add off Breyvic to the roster? Hey, at least the name is fun, right?