The Kansas City Royals have agreed to send outfielder David Lough to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for infielder Danny Valencia. The deal appears to have immediate ramifications to the starting lineup of both squads.
The Orioles have acquired OF David Lough from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for INF Danny Valencia.— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) December 18, 2013
The 29-year-old Valencia will be joining his fourth team in just two years, having surfaced with the Twins before moving to Boston, Baltimore, and now, Kansas City. After a stellar rookie campaign in 2010, Valencia had regressed significantly until joining the Orioles prior to the 2013 season. In 52 games with the club, Valencia posted a 135 OPS+ and 0.9 WAR, hitting .303/.335/.553 in 170 plate appearances, largely fueled by a .339 BABIP.
The Royals are hoping Valencia can replicate his 2013 season. The club is likely planning on using him as a platoon partner with Mike Moustakas at third base, as the latter struggles to hit left-handers, while the former has a career .879 OPS against them, compared to just .629 against right-handers.
Lough, 27, finished second among AL rookies in WAR (2.4) last season, mostly due to his outstanding defensive skills in the outfield. While hitting .286/.311/.413, Lough saved roughly 15 runs in the field according to Fangraphs.
Barring any other acquisitions, Lough is currently slated to be the O's starting left fielder next season, as he shifts Nolan Reimold to DH and joins an outfield that also includes Nick Markakis and Adam Jones.