Orioles release Danny Valencia

Unable to find a trade partner, the Orioles have released infielder Danny Valencia from his contract and he’s free to sign with another team.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette was trying to work out a deal for Valencia, 33, but couldn’t make it happen.

Valencia was designated for assignment on Friday to create a roster spot for center fielder Cedric Mullins. He batted .263/.316/.408 with eight doubles, one triple, nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 78 games.

The Orioles started Valencia at third base in 38 games after Tim Beckham underwent core muscle surgery and later moved to shortstop. He made 17 starts in right field and one at first base and also served as the designated hitter in 13 games.

There wasn’t much interest in Valencia at the non-waiver trade deadline, according to a source, mainly due to his reputation as a good hitter with limited defensive skills. However, he owns a career .312 average against left-handers and could be a useful bat off the bench for a contender.

He also might come in handy as a reliever.

Valencia struck out the Rangers’ Joey Gallo with a 91 mph fastball in an Aug. 2 blowout in Texas, one of the season highlights for an Orioles team with few to promote. Valencia was making his major league pitching debut.

Thumbnail image for Danny Valencia rounding third white.jpgThe Orioles signed Valencia to a minor league deal on March 3, but both sides understood that he wouldn’t accept an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. He broke camp with the club as a utility-type player, though not from the prototypical mold.

Valencia also appeared in 52 games with the Orioles in 2013, batting .304/.335/.553, and was traded to the Royals in December for outfielder David Lough.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are listing David Hess, Alex Cobb and TBD as starters for their series in Cleveland that begins Friday. The Indians are listing Carlos Carrasco, Adam Plutko and Mike Clevinger.

Adam Jones will receive his sixth Heart & Hustle Award on the field before tonight’s game. Former Orioles shortstop and current MASN analyst Mike Bordick will present it.

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