Diamondbacks, Jose Valverde discussing minor-league deal
Relief pitcher Jose Valverde is discussing a return to the Diamondbacks, where he spent the first five years of his big-league career.
The Diamondbacks have discussed the possibility of giving a minor-league contract to free-agent relief pitcher Jose Valverde, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Valverde is only two seasons removed from a 2011 campaign where he was a perfect 49 for 49 in save chances with a 2.24 ERA. He finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting that season. He started to fall apart late in 2012, however, lost his closing job in the playoffs and hasn't since rediscovered his rhythm.
Last season, the Tigers brought Valverde back in during April with hopes of him re-gaining the closer role. He went 9 for 12 in save chances before the Tigers moved on. On the season, Valverde had a 5.59 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
Valverde has always had issues with control and now his fastball velocity has dropped about three miles per hour from when he was an ace reliever. He'll be 36 next March.
Obviously this would be a low-risk signing for D-Backs general manager Kevin Towers -- who loves stockpiling relievers -- given that it's a minor-league deal and they traded for closer Addison Reed on Monday.
It also would mark a reunion, as Valverde spent the first five years of his big-league career with Arizona.