The Mariners have claimed reliever Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Red Sox and optioned him to Triple-A Tacoma, per a club announcement. Seattle already had a pair of vacancies on the 40-man roster, so no additional moves were necessary.
Valdez lost his roster spot in Boston earlier this week. The right-hander had made 13 appearances this season, pitching to a 4.41 ERA across 16 1/3 frames. He had a modest 18.1% strikeout rate and 7.7% swinging strike percentage, but he induced ground-balls at a very strong 58.7% clip. That’s generally in line with the career track record for Valdez, who has a 4.56 ERA with a 20.8% strikeout rate and a 53.9% grounder percentage through 102 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Red Sox over the past four years.
The 30-year-old has an even better 64.1% grounder rate through 14 appearances with the Sox’s top affiliate in Worcester this year, although he’s walked an untenable 19.4% of hitters at the level. He’s in his final option year, so the M’s can keep him in Tacoma for the remainder of the 2022 campaign if he sticks on the 40-man roster.