In a corresponding move, Miami optioned first baseman Justin Bour to New Orleans.
Valdespin has been hot of late, batting .325 in his last 10 games at New Orleans.
"This is a great opportunity to get himself back into the big leagues and revive himself," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Hopefully he can do that and be a big spark for us as well."
In 61 games with the Zephyrs, Valdespin posted a .270 batting average with eight homers and 29 RBIs. He swiped 15 bases and was caught 10 times.
"To have another guy who can run and steal bases is big," Redmond said. "Although being in front of [Giancarlo] Stanton, you have to pick your spots."
The Marlins are surveying the market for a second baseman with speed. They aren't necessarily looking for a quick fix or a rental; they'd like to find someone to lock down the spot for the next few years.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Valdespin, Rafael Furcal (left hamstring strain) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Ed Lucas and Donovan Solano have been handling second base. And Derek Dietrich (right wrist strain) is on the disabled list.
Valdespin broke in with the Mets in 2012, and he hit .241 in 94 games as a rookie. Last season, he batted .188 in 66 games for New York.
Valdespin was suspended 50 games on Aug. 5, 2013, for being connected to MLB's Biogenesis investigation. Also with the Mets, he was reprimanded on several occasions, including for not running out ground balls.
The Marlins signed Valdespin to a Minor League contract last Dec. 20, but he did not receive a big league Spring Training invitation.
"He has to prove himself and show the type of player we've all kind of seen glimpses of," Redmond said. "He's here to hopefully give us a spark. He's been swinging the bat well in the Minor Leagues."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter