BOSTON – This trade wont knock your socks off, but its the type of deal that fits the cash-strapped Blue Jays mold at the moment. Jorge Torres Jersey . Just prior to Monday nights series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway, general manager Alex Anthopoulos acquired infielder Danny Valencia from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for pitcher Liam Hendriks and catcher Erik Kratz. The move works for both clubs, which makes it a good trade. “We definitely have a lot of left-handed bats on the roster right now and we certainly could use some help from the right side,” said Anthopoulos. “Weve actually inquired about him in the past; just havent been able to get anything done. Weve been really trying to find [a similar player] all year and also weve definitely given guys some opportunities from the minor leagues looking for that right-handed bat and the fact that hes had success at the big league level doing that and doing it well, its a good fit for us.” Valencia, who turns 30 on September 19, is a right-handed hitting infielder who predominantly plays third base. He has a career .879 on-base plus slugging percentage against left-handed pitching with 14 home runs. Thats in 498 plate appearances, a large enough sample size to state with certainty that Valencia is an immediate enhancement to the line-up. Hell help to cover for the remainder of Brett Lawries absence. Lawries out with a fractured right index finger and, given that second base isnt completely foreign to Valencia, he could see time there when Lawrie returns. With 21 career home runs and a .620 OPS against right-handed pitching, Valencia isnt totally a lost cause, but would be better suited to a platoon situation. Anthopoulos cautioned not to read too much into how the acquisition of Valencia could affect Lawrie and where hell play. Lawrie wants to play third base, but didnt complain when he was asked to assume a platoon role, splitting time between third and second base earlier this season. Judging by what the general manager had to say, its easy to envision Lawrie seeing plenty more time at second. “Well just see,” said Anthopoulos. “I know (manager John Gibbons) is going to mix and match. When Juans been playing, hes been playing well, hes got tremendous numbers versus right-handers, [but] obviously has not had success versus left-handers and Danny can certainly be that platoon partner for him. “With respect to Brett, sure, youd like to have any player be at one position the entire time, but, like weve done a lot of the year, wed like to have had Bautista play one position the entire time, the one thing thats been great to see is all of our players want to win and are willing to play anywhere on the diamond.” From a business perspective, and dont discount the importance of this for a second, Valencias spent enough time in pro ball (nine seasons) the big leagues (parts of five seasons) to be considered a veteran with useful experience, but hes accrued so little major league service time (two years, 118 days) that he remains under club control for the considerable future. This is something Anthopoulos greatly values. Valencia is first-year arbitration eligible this coming off-season and cant become a free agent until, at the earliest, after the 2017 season. Remember, the Blue Jays are essentially bereft of positional prospect talent at Double-A or higher. The addition of Valencia is as useful for 2015 as it is in the immediate. Out the door go two extraneous pieces. While a compelling argument could be made that Kratz should have made the club out of spring training and served as Dioner Navarros back-up, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is more comfortable with his longtime battery mate, Josh Thole. As a result, Kratz spent his second stint in the organization in three places: Toronto, Buffalo and on the QEW shuttling from one city to the other. Kratz hit .198/.226/.346 in 34 games with the Blue Jays. He showed a touch of his valued power, hitting three home runs in 81 at-bats. Hendriks, 25, is still young but didnt figure into the Blue Jays plans. He won a game in three starts with Toronto, posting a 6.08 ERA, but on a number of occasions he needed every inch of Rogers Centres dimensions to keep the ball in the park in two home starts. He was hit hard on June 20 in Cincinnati, his last start in the big leagues, in a game that will best be remembered for the Blue Jays overcoming a nine-run deficit to beat the Reds 14-9. INJURY UPDATES Anthopoulos provided updates on the status of two injured players, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind. As for the respective timetables for their returns: “You know, we really dont know," he said. "Theyre definitely moving in the right direction.” On Encarnacion (strained right quadriceps): “I know we mentioned with Encarnacion he had a bit of a setback; setback in a way that hed been improving so fast and it got slowed up. I guess the one thing to clarify on that is, yes, the way he was progressing and how fast he was progressing, all of a sudden that certainly slowed down because he had a little renewed pain when he was swinging again so we just decided to not take any chances and slow him up.” On Lind (fractured right foot): “He doesnt feel anything when he swings. He does feel it a little bit when he runs, when he has to run the bases and change directions and that can impact him when hes in the field. In terms of strictly in the box and swinging he doesnt feel it. Its going to come down to when that pain is gone when he has to run the bases and change direction and things like that. We dont know exactly when thats going to come but in the meantime at least were able to have him hit, swing and let him try to get his timing back.” Alfredo Talavera Jersey . Rockies manager Walt Weiss was unhappy, too. Weiss addressed the issue in a 15-minute meeting with his pitcher and catcher after the Rockies gave up 14 hits and lost 10-1. De La Rosa lasted only 4 1-3 innings and allowed five runs in his first opening-day start. Guillermo Ochoa Jersey . Nainggolan scored his first Italian league goal at Bologna, in October 2010, and he also opened his Roma account there following his January move from Cagliari. The Belgium midfielder volleyed home Miralem Pjanics cross from close range eight minutes from time. http://www.soccermexicojerseysteamshop.com/jared-borgetti-mexico-jersey/ .ca! Hi Kerry, Im sure youve received many emails wondering what your take is on the Spezza goal that looked like Neil blatantly kicked it in while standing directly in the middle of the crease where, you know, usually a goalie is to make a save but couldnt be due to Neil being there! Thanks! Jon - Westfield, MA Jon: Lets first ask Henrik Lundqvist what he thought of the scoring of the Sens second goal with .When Albert Pujols slugged his 499th and 500th home runs the other night at Washington, he became the 51st player in history to reach that magic figure that in most cases guarantees a player a spot in the Hall of Fame. I dont consider myself to be that old, but I was amazed when I looked at the all-time home run list and realized I had seen 47 of the 51, either in person or on live TV. The ones I wasnt born early enough to see included Mel Ott, number 23 on the list with 511, number 18 Ted Williams at 521, number 17 Jimmie Foxx at 534 and of course the immortal Babe Ruth at number 3 with 714. Of those four, I was even fortunate enough to have seen Williams in person when he and Joe DiMaggio appeared at the 1991 All-Star Game in Toronto. I guess my point is home run hitting beyond a select few didnt really begin to take off until the likes of Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider took centre stage in the 1950s and then took another quantum leap in the steroid era that began in the late 80s. Two of the greatest hitters of all-time, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, hit 103 and 101 home runs respectively in careers that lasted over 20 years apiece. Funny that Wally Pipp, the man Lou Gehrig replaced at first base with the Yankees, hit 90 homers in the Majors. Gehrig, who set the longest consecutive games played streak (until it was surpassed by Cal Ripken Jr.) went on to hit 493 home runs. Pujols was the first player in five years to reach the 500 figure and that made me wonder, who might be next? Then I wondered if Pujols could possibly be the last. I wont likely live long enough to answer that question, but there are still a couple of players who have a shot in the next two or three years if they stick around that long. Adam Dunn, the White Sox prodigious slugger, should reach 500. Hes only 34 and just hit his 445th homer, a monster shot over the scoreboard at Comerica Park this week. Dunn made noises about retiring last season, when the White Sox kept piling up loss after loss. But Chicagos decent start this year and the lure of 500 will probably keep him around for a couple of more seasons. David Ortiz, the face of the Red Sox, is four years older at 38, but he only needs 65 more dingers to reach 500. Hes got a shot. The next group of three falls into the unlikely category. Clevelands Jason Giambi has 438 homers, but hes 43 years old. Dunns White Sox teammate Paul Konerko has 434 but isnt playing much these days and intends to retire at the end of the season. The Yankees Alfonso Soriano like Konerko is 38, but only has 410. He would have to hit 40-45 this year to have a chance. The funny thing is of those five players only Ortiz would appear to have a shot at the Hall of Fame. Konerko is a definite maybe, but the steroid connection could keep Giambi out. Since Dunn was so one dimensional, he could become the first to hit 500 homers who wont make it to Cooperstown. Further down the list you have the Rangers 35-year-old third baseman Adrian Beltre who was 376 homers. Itt could be a stretch for him considering his age and the fact he has already been on the disabled list this season. Custom Mexico Jerseys. Tigers mega-star Miguel Cabrera may take another three or four years, but should crack 500. He has 367 now and is only 31. The Yankees Carlos Beltran is only four homers behind "Miggy" at 363, but he is 37. Prince Fielder, who appeared to be a lock a couple of years ago, is sitting on 287 at age 30. Seven more years averaging 30 homers a season and hed have a chance. Incidently, the top active Blue Jays home run hitter is Jose Bautista at 217, followed by Edwin Encarnacion at 196. If I had to bet, Id say Cabrera and Dunn will be the only two to reach 500 in the next two to four years. It could be a long wait, if ever, before it happens again after that. One last note on the chase for 500 homers. Phillies slugging first baseman Ryan Howard reached 100 homers quicker than anyone in history in 2007. Then in 2009 he arrived at 200 faster than anybody else. Now into his fifth season since then, thanks in large part to injuries, his pace has dropped off and hes hit 316 homers. At 34, 500 for Ryan Howard is little more than a dream. The odds of any of us seeing another 300-game winning pitcher are even more remote. The top active pitcher right now is Yankees lefty C.C. Sabathia at 208. Hes 33, but more than that, hes not quite the dominating pitcher he was two years ago and had elbow concerns last year. The Giants Tim Hudson is right behind him at 207 victories, but hes 38. After those two you dip down to the ageless Bartolo Colon of the Mets with 191 victories. The fourth-highest active pitcher in terms of victories is Blue Jays wily veteran lefty Mark Buehrle. At 35, he has 190 victories against 142 losses with a 3.81 ERA. For Hall of Fame voters, 250 victories could become the new 300 in the very near future. Considering his iron man innings stats Buehrle could at least bump himself into the Cooperstown conversation, with another four or five years of 13 or 14 wins. On The Mark Speaking of Buehrle, he takes his 4-0 record into a vital three-game set with Boston this weekend at Rogers Centre. Buehrle will be pitching in the series opener on Friday night against Bosox righty Jake Peavy. The Jays have slipped back to .500 at 11-11 after giving up solid leads at home in their last two games and getting shellacked by Baltimore. The Jays have now fallen to 4-5 at home and 6-7 against the AL East. This three-game set against Boston pretty well completes the first 25 per cent segment against the East. Right now Toronto is sitting in third place, one game up on Tampa Bay and one-and-a-half up on last place Boston. At the very least the Blue Jays need to take two out of three to stop the bleeding before they hit the road for Kansas City and Pittsburgh. Getting swept by Boston could drop the Jays into the cellar and start the same snowball rolling that saw them tumble to 73 and 74 wins the last two seasons. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '