Angels Sign Cesar Valdez To Minor League Contract

The Angels have signed right-hander Cesar Valdez to a minor league deal, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reports (Twitter link).  Valdez receives an invitation to the Angels’ big league Spring Training camp, and he will receive a guaranteed $950MM if he makes the active roster.

The veteran righty is back in Anaheim after also signing a minors deal with the Halos last offseason.  Valdez only made a single appearance at the MLB level, and was then designated for assignment and subsequently outrighted off the 40-man roster.  Pitching much of the season at Triple-A Salt Lake, Valdez had a 3.94 ERA, 21% strikeout rate, and a very strong 3.8% walk rate over 146 1/3 innings, all as a starter.

Though Valdez just got onto that one game with the Angels, it was enough to make it five career MLB seasons for the 37-year-old.  He made his debut way back in 2010 with 20 innings for the Diamondbacks, next surfaced in the majors in 2017 with the A’s and Blue Jays, and then didn’t appear in the big leagues again until working out of the Orioles’ bullpen in 2020.

Valdez’s odd career arc (that also includes stops in the Mexican League and the Chinese Professional Baseball League) has been him move back and forth several times between starter and relief roles, but it would appear as though he’ll head to the Angels’ camp as rotation depth.  Never much of a strikeout pitcher throughout his career, Valdez has relied on grounders to generate outs, and he has a 49.1% groundball rate over his 112 career innings at the Major League level.

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