SAN FRANCISCO–For a Giants fan base accustomed to splashy offseason acquisitions, Farhan Zaidi has spent his first winter on the job wading into a small tide pool.
Though the waters remain unseasonably calm, the Giants made another addition Saturday as they acquired utility player Breyvic Valera from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for cash considerations.
Saturday’s deal marks the third time in the last nine months that Valera has been involved in a trade under Zaidi’s watch, as he was initially acquired by Zaidi in April before the former Dodgers general manager sent him to Baltimore in the trade that brought Manny Machado to Los Angeles.
Valera, 26, has hit .216 in 74 major league at-bats but boasts the positional versatility to play all over the diamond. In a press release, the Giants labeled their newest position player as an infielder/outfielder.
Valera was recently designated for assignment by the Orioles, but the Giants found a roster spot for the Venezuelan utility player with a little more than a month remaining until spring training. San Francisco’s 40-man roster now includes 39 players, so Valera could be in jeopardy of being designated for assignment again if Zaidi continues to build out the back end of the team’s roster in the coming weeks.
The Giants have yet to sign a free agent position player this offseason, but have now acquired three different multi-positional bats who have the potential to compete for roster spots this spring. If he remains on the roster, Valera will join Zaidi’s other pickups including outfielder Michael Gerber, who was traded to San Francisco from Detroit, and outfielder Drew Ferguson, who was selected by the Giants in the Rule 5 Draft, in spring camp.
After whittling the roster down to 34 players, Zaidi picked up left-handed reliever Travis Bergen in the Rule 5 Draft and signed veteran free agent switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to a one-year deal.
At the Winter Meetings, Zaidi expressed interest in adding pitching depth and another position player capable of handling a part-time catching role.