To make room for Valencia on the 40-man roster, they designated first baseman Joe Mahoney for assignment.
Valencia is a lifetime .257 hitter, but he’s slumped badly since finished third in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2010.
Last year, he .188 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 44 games with Seattle and Boston. The Red Sox picked him up from the Twins on Aug. 5 and he played 10 games in Boston.
“Danny Valencia’s real value to the ballclub is that he’s a .316 lifetime hitter versus left-handed pitching and a .360 on-base percentage. He’s an above average hitter,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said on Wednesday.
“He’s a capable infielder, and at 28, he’s got an opportunity to return the form that made him one of the top vote-getters for Rookie of the Year in 2010.”
He’s played only third base in the big leagues, and he could be an option as a right-handed designated hitter.
“He’s an accomplished major league player,” Duquette said.
Mahoney, the Orioles’ sixth-round selection in 2007, was hitless in four at bats last season, his only big league action.
When reached by phone on Wednesday afternoon, Mahoney declined comment on the move.
Duquette said the Orioles are talking with Mark Reynolds. They must offer him a contract by Friday or he'll become a free agent.
“We’ve had some discussions. The discussions are ongoing,” he said.
He also said the team does not expect to name a replacement for DeMarlo Hale as third base coach this week. That probably will come next week at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. Last year, the Orioles finalized their coaching staff at the winter meetings.