Valencia returns to AL Central with trade to Kansas City

  • Updated: December 19, 2013 - 6:36 AM
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Danny Valencia in 2012

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The Kansas City Royals acquired infielder Danny Valencia on Wednesday from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for outfielder David Lough.

Valencia, who played for the Twins in 2010 and ’11, hit .304 in 170 plate appearances for Baltimore. He bounced between the big league team and the minor leagues for much of 2013.

Valencia’s .553 slugging percentage was the fifth-highest in the AL among players with at least 150 at-bats. He batted .371 with 14 doubles and four homers against lefthanded pitchers.

As a rookie this year, Lough, 27, batted .286 with five homers and 33 RBI in 96 games for Kansas City. He played all three outfield positions.

Etc.

• The overall big league average salary rose 5.4 percent this season to a record $3.39 million, according to an annual report released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. The increase was the steepest since 2006. But Houston’s average of $549,603 was the smallest since the 1999 Royals at $534,460.

• San Diego agreed with righthander Joaquin Benoit on a $15.5 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the situation said. In his first season as Detroit closer, Benoit had 24 saves in 26 chances. But in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, he gave up a grand slam to Boston’s David Ortiz.

• Seattle re-signed oft-injured outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to a $1 million, one-year contract, adding needed depth to its outfield. The Mariners had declined his $7.5 million option, but Gutierrez chose to return to Seattle for a sixth season hoping he can finally stay healthy.

• The Padres acquired infielder Ryan Jackson from the Astros for infielder-outfielder Jesus Guzman.

• Colorado reacquired left­hander Franklin Morales from the Red Sox for versatile infielder Jonathan Herrera.

• Infielder Casey McGehee, who played in Japan last season, agreed to a $1.1 million, one-year contract with Miami.

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