Jose Valverde has resigned with the Detroit Tigers. The pitcher will apparently not be promised that he will be the closer for the 2013 version of the team despite having spent the last three seasons in that role for Detroit.
According to the team, the man who is called Papa Grande will have to show that he can pitch well enough to win a spot as the team’s closer. This is despite the fact that he saved 11o games and had just eight blown saves in his three years with the Tigers.
This signing appears to be just the latest and perhaps final (for a while) revamping of their lineup. The offseason saw the team add some offense with Torii Hunter and they recently signed their stud starting pitcher, Justin Verlander, to a massive contract.
Jose Valverde has not even been granted a promise that he will make the big league club. At the press conference announcing the resignation, it was announced that the pitcher will begin an extended Spring Training before heading to A ball. He will then take over pitching duties for the Tigers’ AAA ball club.
Should everything go well there, Detroit will call up the man who saved 49 games and didn’t blow a save for the club just two years ago.
It seems to be common knowledge that the Tigers need a closer, but the team insists that they did not sign their former stopper out of desperation. Tigers’ GM Dave Dombroski said that he’s spoken to Valverde’s agent, Scott Boras, numerous times this winter but this was the first time where Boras said that he should “go ahead and take a look at him.”
The pitcher’s post season struggles the last two years could be a major reason why Detroit was so remiss to sign him. Despite those 49 saves in 2011, Valverde posted a 7.36 ERA in six appearances in the playoffs.
In 2012, the pitcher was even worse, posting a 30.38 ERA in just 2.2 innings pitched. The closer also allowed two homers in those brief outings.
Do you think the signing of Jose Valverde will work out for the Tigers?