It comes as little surprise that the Twins have traded Danny Valencia. Perhaps the timing is a bit unexpected since Trevor Plouffe isn't quite back yet, and it might be a little surprising that anyone even wanted Valencia considering his performance, but the fact that he was moved? That's not a surprise.
If anyone recalls the heady, successful days of 2010, you'll also recall that Valencia finished third on the American League's Rookie of the Year ballot behind Neftali Feliz and Austin Jackson. Valencia was called up that season when it was clear that third base was the obvious place where the Twins could improve. Nick Punto and Brendan Harris weren't getting it done, and the Twins were rewarded for their callup as Danny hit .311/.351/.448.
We heard early on about his attitude - that it wasn't necessarily a good attitude. His work ethic while on the field didn't come into question as much as his attitude off of it, no doubt leading to all of the Twitter "swag" jokes. Around Twinkie Town we were confident in the 25-year old, in spite of the fact that his minor league track record was solid but not necessarily indicative of success at the Major League level.
Valencia was one of the two healthy position players for the club last season but was still awful: .246/.294/.383 with 15 home runs. We called it many things, and we said he was pressing himself to be more productive than he was capable of because of the pressure on him when everyone else besides Michael Cuddyer was injured.
Then he put up a .494 OPS through May 9th of this season and was demoted to Triple-A. He'd struck out 23 times in 103 plate appearances...and walked twice. He hasn't necessarily been much better since his recall, but he had driven in six runs in seven games.
Jeremias Pineda is a 21-year old switch-hitting outfielder in his second season inside the Red Sox organization. We'll talk about him more shortly.
Welcome into the fold, Pineda, and au revoir, Danny Valencia. Good luck with that one, Boston.