... if you are in Albuquerque. In a nearly unnoticed transaction, the Dodgers signed former Giants reliever Merkin Valdez to minor-league contract without offering him an invitation to Spring Training, per Matt Eddy at Baseball America, and Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts. The Dominican Republic native is a bit of a wild man as a middle reliever, with career BB/9 of 5.4 to go with his K/9 of 7.0. It must be his name that makes him memorable, because he has only accrued 68 1/3 innings in the majors, or only a little more than a Dodger starters' scoreless inning streak.
There really ought to be more text here to balance out the photo on the right, but, really, there is only so much that I actually wish to write about Merkin Valdez. Page layout purists: suffer.
At one time Merkin Valdez was the Giants number one prospect and got as high as number 40 on the Baseball America top 100 list of 2004. In 2005 he fell to 58 as Matt Cain eclipsed him as the top Giant prospect. This excellent tool from Beyond the Boxscore makes it easy to peruse all of the Baseball America top 100 lists. Make sure you have some leisure time to kill before clicking on the link, or you will find yourself in hot water.
Valdez missed the entire 2007 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on September 27, 2006.