Three former Valley Leaguers, all with major league experience, have signed free agent contracts with new teams. All three of the them have signed minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.
- Tyler White (Haymarket 2010) has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. White did not appear in a major league game in 2020, and was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers in July. He’s hit .236/.315/.409 in 859 major league plate appearances over four seasons, but put up a .276/.354/.533 line in 210 at-bats with the Houston Astros in 2018. White is a designated hitter type, and could certainly help Toronto’s bench. He’s been named an ATVL Hitter of the Year at specific pro levels five times since he was drafted in 2013.
- Joseph Odom (Winchester 2012) signed with the Tampa Bay Rays. Now 28, Odom made his major league debut in 2020 with the Seattle Mariners, hitting .128/.209/.128 in 39 at-bats. It will be intriguing to see if the Rays, known for unlocking potential in “project” players, will use Odom in different, interesting ways. By the way, Odom has been all over the Valley League’s expanded record book for his hitting in 2012.
- Justin Anderson (Front Royal 2013) was not offered a contract by the Los Angeles Angels in December, 2020, and became a free agent. In 2018 and 2019, Anderson went 6-3, 4.75, with 127 strikeouts in 103 1/3 major league innings for the Angels, but he blew out his elbow and had Tommy John surgery in July and missed the entire 2020 season. He was just signed by the Texas Rangers, though, and will look to make a return to the majors in 2021.
- Reed Garrett (New Market 2013) is returning to Japan to pitch a second season for the Seibu Lions. Garrett, who pitched in 13 major league games for the Detroit Tigers in 2019, went 3-2, 3.10 in 49 1/3 innings with the Lions in 2020.
- One of Garrett’s teammates will again be Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010), who is also returning to Japan for a second season. Spangenberg hit .256/.315/.389 in 1,250 at-bats in his six seasons in the major leagues, mostly with San Diego. For Seibu in 2020, he hit .268/.326/.482 in 407 at-bats, with 26 doubles, eight triples, 15 home runs, 57 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases. I wonder if Garrett and Spangenberg hang out off the field?
- By my count, 11 former VBLers are still free agents: