The Athletics have traded Danny Valencia to the Mariners for minor-league pitcher Paul Blackburn, as first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. The deal is official.
Valencia, who got into a late-season clubhouse brawl with teammate Billy Butler, was not expected back in Oakland next year. The club reportedly considered releasing him in September, but ultimately decided to hold onto him and try to receive some value back in trade talks over the winter.
Valencia, 32, had a solid year for Oakland, hitting .287/.346/.446 with 17 home runs in 130 games while slashing .318/.389./.534 against lefties. He has the ability to play all four corner positions, giving Seattle some positional flexibility. Valencia is only under team control for this season, and will be arbitration-eligible for the third time.
Blackburn, 22, was ranked as the Mariners’ 22nd-best prospect after closing the year with a 3.54 ERA in 40.2 innings for Double-A Jackson. A first-round pick (56th overall) in 2012, Blackburn rose through the Cubs’ system before being traded to the Mariners in exchange for left-hander Mike Montgomery in advance of this summer’s trade deadline.