The Texas Rangers have acquired left handed pitcher Luis Valdez from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for righthanded pitcher Ricky Vanasco, it was announced today. Vanasco was designated for assignment earlier this week to make room for Grant Anderson on the 40 man roster.
Valdez is not a bad return for Vanasco, particularly given he had just been DFA’d. Valdez is 19 years old and pitching for Rancho Cucamonga in the low-A California League this year. Valdez has a 3.12 ERA in 17.1 IP this year in eight games, all starts, with 24 Ks against 14 walks. He split 2022 between the DSL, the ACL and the Cal League, putting up a 2.70 ERA in 43.1 IP and, most notably, 51 Ks against just three walks.
Valdez was number 29 on the Dodgers prospect list from Fangraphs, where they praised his change up and breaking ball but questioned whether he’d ever throw very hard. Valdez will likely be assigned to Down East.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers will get to see what they can do with Vanasco, who has shown talent but struggled to stay healthy. Vanasco returned from Tommy John surgery in 2022 but had a difficult year, then missed the first part of 2023 on the injured list before returning and struggling badly in two outings for Frisco prior to being designated for assignment.