With the trade deadline looming Thursday afternoon, Toronto acquired infielder Danny Valencia from the Kansas City Royals in a deal for catcher Erik Kratz and right-hander Liam Hendriks. Valencia, a right-handed hitter, slots into a lefty-leaning lineup, especially with infielders Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie on the disabled list.
"We felt like we could use some help from the right side," general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters on a conference call. "We've actually inquired about him in the past, just haven't been able to get anything done. We've really been trying to find all year -- we've definitely given some guys some opportunities from the minor leagues -- that right-handed bat. He's had success at the big league level doing that and doing it well; it's a good fit for us."
Valencia, who will play primarily third base until Lawrie returns next month, is a career .265 hitter with a .304 on-base percentage. With the Royals, he batted .282 with a .710 OPS in only 36 games in a part-time role. However, he is a .333 lifetime hitter against left-handed pitching.
Kratz, meanwhile, pinballed between Toronto and Triple-A Buffalo this year and was third on Toronto's depth chart in part because backup Josh Thole is knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's personal catcher.
Hendriks spent most of the season with Buffalo.
Anthopoulos wouldn't rule out additional moves before the trade deadline.
"There's always a chance, but I'd say all 29 other GMs would say the same thing," Anthopoulos said. "It's been very active in terms of phone calls, emails, texts, everyone seems to be exchanging ideas. That's expected. It seems that it's the same it's been the last few years around this time -- things start to ramp up.
"I don't know that I can really handicap what the potential chances are for another deal. Trades are hard to make, and I wouldn't say we're close to anything, but this deal came together fast, so anything can come together fast, and we're going to continue to talk to clubs."