Merkin 9 to 5: Valdez to toil in Dodger minor leagues

The  Dodgers have signed former San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays reliever Merkin Valdez to a minor-league contract, though without giving him an invitation to big-league camp at Spring Training. (Matt Eddy of Baseball America first reported the signing.)

Valdez is looking to rebuild his career. The 29-year-old righthander pitched 67 games for the Giants from 2004-2008 with a 5.24 ERA, allowing 115 baserunners in 67 innings while striking out 53. Last year, he allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings for Toronto while spending most of the season with Triple-A Las Vegas, where he had a 7.91 ERA in 58 innings.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Valdez was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves in 1999, then came to the Giants in 2002 (with Damian Moss) in a trade for … Russ Ortiz.

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