By. John Russo (original post is on Team To Beat)
The Phillies made a trade today, sending utility infielder – and one time reliever – Wilson Valdez to the Cincinnati Reds for left-hander Jeremy Horst, according to Matt Gelb.
Horst, 26, had an ERA of 2.93 in 12 games of relief for the Reds last season. Those were the first 12 games of Horst’s career with the Reds.
Horst was drafted in the 21st round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Reds.
Valdez, 33, had been one of the Phillies top utility infielders the last two years. He made a huge impact in 2010 when Jimmy Rollins missed over half the season with leg injuries, hitting a career high .258 with four home runs and 35 RBIs.
In two years with the Phils, Valdez hit .254 with five home runs and 65 RBIs in 606 at-bats. Valdez also provided the Phillies with great defense, boasting the strongest arm on the Phillies infield.
Lastly, no one will ever forget what Valdez did last May. As one of the consensus top moments of the 2011 season, Valdez pitched in the 19th inning, earning a win against the heart of the Reds order. He hit only one batter and retired both Jay Bruce and Joey Votto.
From Gelb’s post:
“We decided we were comfortable with the guys we had,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said by phone. “At the same time he had value for us. He served a pretty valuable role for us. But generally, we felt like we had coverage in that area.”
That basically means that Ruben Amaro was happy with how Michael Martinez developed last season. Martinez could be the top middle infielder on the bench this year with Valdez gone.
It could also mean that short stop prospect Freddy Galvis has a shot at being a midseason call up at some point.
“Once we signed Jimmy, we felt like we have three shortstop options in Martinez, Galvis and Valdez,” Amaro said. “So we felt OK and comfortable enough to go ahead an move Valdez.”