Valdez, who celebrated his 35th birthday earlier this week, signed a minor league deal with the Marlins in March. His performance at Triple-A New Orleans wasn't enough to earn him a ticket up to the big leagues, however, as he hit .232/.275/.259 in 122 plate appearances. For his major league career, Valdez owns a slash line of .236/.281/.313 across seven seasons. While he has never shined at the plate, Valdez has a reputation for solid defense at second base, third base, and shortstop with a bit of outfield experience as well.
1:54pm: The White Sox announced that they have outrighted Sanchez to Triple-A Charlotte. With the move, Chicago's 40-man roster now stands at 39.
12:53pm: Infielder Angel Sanchez, a Rule 5 pick who was waived on Thursday by the White Sox, cleared waivers and was offered back to the Angels, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. With a roster crunch at the major league and Triple-A level, however, DiGiovanna reports that the Angels declined to take Sanchez back.
Sanchez, 29, has been on the disabled list since April 10th with a lower back strain. He has appeared in just one game this season with the White Sox. In parts of five seasons at Triple-A, Sanchez owns a .294/.359/.388 slash line.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Rangers have claimed 25-year-old outfielder Joe Benson off of waivers from the Twins, tweets MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. Apart from a brief call-up in 2011, Benson has spent his entire career in the minors.
Thus far, he has struggled to a .192/.256/.285 line in 164 plate appearances for the Twins' Triple-A affiliate. The claim enabled the Twins to free a 40-man roster spot for pitcher P.J. Walters to take the rotation spot of the scuffling Vance Worley.
The Rangers subsequently optioned Benson to Double-A, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). To make space on the team's 40-man roster, Texas moved Matt Harrison to the 60-day DL, according to a tweet from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Entering the 2013 season, hardly anyone chose the Colorado Rockies or New York Yankees to contend for pennants. Both have shocked the baseball world by overcoming depth and injuries concerns, but we've seen plenty of that throughout MLB history.
The teams featured on this list made journeys all the way to the World Series despite being perceived as underdogs prior to Opening Day. Each slide reflects on previous seasons to explain why there was pessimism, identifies the difference-makers who made the pennant possible and states whether or not the team was victorious in the Fall Classic.
Every generation has had its unlikely successes.
Nobody likes to be labeled a failure.
Whether it's failing an exam in school, your first road test or not performing up to expectations in any of your endeavors, not finding success can be a deflating feeling, one that some people can move past more easily than others.
Professional athletes are no different.
Whether their failures came in the minor leagues or once they arrived in the big show, for the 10 pitchers that we are about to look at, failure was the best possible thing that could have happened for their careers.
For it was their ineptitude at the beginning of games that ultimately led to unthinkable levels of success pitching out of the bullpen, primarily in the ninth inning.
While there are a number of failed starting pitchers who were able to reinvent themselves as quality relievers, these 10 pitchers stand out from the pack.
When is the 2013 MLB Draft?
I'll give you the amount of time it takes for your eyes to cross the following ellipses to figure it out...June 6-8. Twelve days from today the top amateur baseball players from high schools and colleges around the country will be selected through one of 50 rounds in the MLB draft.
You read that right, 50 rounds.
I'll stop right here and state that the first way in which the MLB draft can mold itself to be more like its superior NFL brethren is to cut back some baggage; the chances of finding a professional-caliber player in rounds later than the 15th is like finding a needle in a haystack.
However, there are more pressing issues as to why the MLB draft pales in comparison to the media-crazed, and frankly over-hyped, NFL draft.
For one, the talent from the high school or college level to professional competition does not translate the same way between the two sports. An NFL-ready quarterback drafted in the first round can seamlessly step into the leadership role after participating in just a single preseason (See: Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, etc.).
On the other hand, a dominant college starting pitcher like Mark Appel — who was drafted eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 and offered a $3.8 million initial contract before deciding to return to Stanford for his degree — may not reach a major league mound for one, three or even ten years. There are no guarantees in the MLB.
Without the instant gratification fans receive from NFL rookies, who can make an immediate impact on ones favorite team, the spectator interest is stunted, leaving a challenging hurdle for the MLB to overcome.
Let's consider a few scenarios that can increase the popularity of the MLB draft.