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Cardinals acquire OF prospect for Valera

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- For the second straight day, the Cardinals yielded a return for a player recently removed from the roster, acquiring outfield prospect Johan Mieses from the Dodgers for infielder Breyvic Valera.

A power hitter who can play all three outfield positions, Mieses led the California League with 28 home runs in 2016. He excelled at Class A Advanced again last season, but struggled after a promotion to Double-A Tulsa, where he hit .160/.246/.347 over 90 games.

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NEW YORK -- For the second straight day, the Cardinals yielded a return for a player recently removed from the roster, acquiring outfield prospect Johan Mieses from the Dodgers for infielder Breyvic Valera.

A power hitter who can play all three outfield positions, Mieses led the California League with 28 home runs in 2016. He excelled at Class A Advanced again last season, but struggled after a promotion to Double-A Tulsa, where he hit .160/.246/.347 over 90 games.

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The Cardinals assigned Mieses, 22, to Class A Advanced Palm Beach.

The move comes a day after the club swapped right-handed pitching prospects with the A's, acquiring Casey Meisner from Oakland for Josh Lucas. Lucas and Valera were designated for assignment last week to clear space for Francisco Pena and Jordan Hicks on the 40-man roster.

Had the Cardinals not found deals for Lucas and Valera by the end of next week, they would have been required to release them.

Either option would've ended an eight-year rise through the organization for Valera, whom the Cardinals originally signed as a teenager out of Venezuela in 2010.

A contact-hitting specialist, Valera walked more than he struck out across more than 1,000 Minor League games, over which he also played six defensive positions. The 26-year-old Valera was ranked the Cardinals' No. 30 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and was targeted by club officials as a dark-horse candidate to make the club after appearing in five late September games last season.

But Valera struggled this spring, when Yairo Munoz emerged as a bat-first option with more extensive defensive flexibility. The club then needed a roster space for Pena after opting to start Carson Kelly at Triple-A, and Valera was squeezed out.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Breyvic Valera