The Los Angeles Angels announced that a pair of Minor League players elected free agency, with Chris Okey and César Valdez exercising their ability to opt out of their contracts.
They’re the second group of Angels minor leaguers to leave the organization in the past week, after Kevin Padlo and Reyes Moronta did so this past week.
After being signed in late March, Okey joined the Salt Lake Bees, and would go on to spend the majority of the 2023 season at Triple-A. In 63 games, he posted a .281/.345/.414 slash with six home runs, six doubles, two triples and 26 RBI.
Okey brought some veteran depth to the Triple-A roster, as he’s amassed 463 career games in the minors. The Angels did give him a taste of big league action in early May, appearing in two games for the big club against the Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians.
Valdez was also added in late March from the ACL Angels, finding a home with the Bees, as well. The unbelievable career of the veteran right-hander spans more than 15 years, with stops in five big league organizations.
In two seasons within the Angels Minor League system, Valdez provided bulk innings, making 56 appearances (39 starts), most recently logging a 6.95 ERA in 114 innings pitched this past season. At this stage of his career, Valdez was in Triple-A to pitch, be a veteran in the room, and clean up a game where need be.
Okey will be in search of his next opportunity, while Valdez has a chance to replicate the same role, whether it be with the Angels, another club, or it could spell the end of a spectacular career.
Angels right-hander has stellar AFL debut
Sending eight prospects to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League, among those was Davis Daniel, who debuted during the 2023 season.
Daniel went 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA, 5.04 FIP and 1.30 WHIP in 12.1 innings pitched across three relief appearances for the Angels after missing most of the season due to a right shoulder strain.
But in his first career AFL start, Daniel allowed just one hit over four scoreless innings and collected five strikeouts.
Make sure to follow Angels Nation on Twitter for all the latest news and updates surrounding the Halos!