Found April 04, 2013 on
The Detroit Tigers signed their former closer Jose Valverde on Thursday to a minor league deal, he will report to Lakeland, Fla.
“We love Papa Grande. He’s been fantastic for this organization,” general manager Dave Dombrowski said today via The Detroit Free Press. “He’s been fantastic as a person. We saw a little fall-off last year, and it wasn’t just during the postseason. So we had come to the conclusion that we were going to move on from that scenario.”
Valverde, 35, recorded 35 saves last season for the American League champion Tigers but had a 3.78 ERA. In three seasons with the club, Valverde converted 110-of-118 save opportunities, including 49 saves in 2011.
But Valverde blew five saves last season and was replaced by Phil Coke in the postseason.
“There are no major league commitments to the deal,” said Dombrowski. “He is going to join our club in Lakeland — our extended (spring training) program — and throw to some hitters, then … join our Toledo affiliate. There is no specific time frame on that. But he’s been throwing 40 to 60 pitches, bullpenwise, over the last time period.
“So in talking to (agent) Scott Boras, he said he’s ready to go and face some hitters. So we figured we would sign him. Scott has talked to me extensively through the last few months. We were willing to take a look at him and see what happens.”
Dombrowski said Valverde looks healthy and was open-minded about joining the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
“We actually had somebody take a look at Papa Grande last (Saturday). One of our scouts in the Dominican went and looked at him. He threw on the side. Velocity was solid. He threw some splits. But we figured, at this point, it was a situation where we had nothing to lose, and he’s open-minded … at this time.
“He was in the low to touching mid-90s. He had thrown some splits on a much more consistent basis. There is no question he has lost more weight, but that really was not a concern of ours last year, because we thought he was in decent shape. But he has lost another 15 pounds, they say. Our guys verified he was in very good shape.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said in February that he was “shocked” and “broken-hearted” his fomer closer was still a free agent.
“I’m shocked, totally shocked,” Leyland said. “Broken-hearted. Can’t believe it. This guy was absolutely fantastic, absolutely fantastic for us. One of the best teammates I’ve ever managed. He did as good a job … for three years in a row, he had the most saves and the best percentage. I can’t believe it.”
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After the Detroit Tigers' short-lived and frightening (if you're a Tigers fan at least) experiment with the closer by committee approach, the team went out and signed Jose Valverde. Papa Grande will likely eventually be added to the 25-man roster, but for now the deal is of the minor league variety.
Jose Valverde has signed a minor-league contract w/ the Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers and former closer Jose Valverde have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski made the announcement before Thursday's game at Minnesota.
Valverde is a three-time All Star who led the AL with 49 saves in 2011 but wasn't as effective in 2012. He struggled badly in the postseason, allowing 11 hits, nine runs and...
A 3-game series has come and gone for the Detroit Tigers. And in classic Motor City fashion, fans are abuzz over what they just saw. Losing 2 of 3 to the measly Twins simply shouldn’t happen.
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After finishing the 2012 season on a sour note, the Tigers may give former closer Jose Valverde a chance to redeem himself in 2013.
Although Valverde had 35 saves during the regular season, he blew two during the Tigers’ playoff run and was removed from the role in favor of a closer-by-committee approach. A free agent after the season, Valverde had been unable to find work despite...
The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year contract with reliever Jose Valverde, who is expected back with the team Wednesday.
And manager Jim Leyland says Valverde will be Detroit's closer immediately.
Valverde was the Tigers' closer the last three years, but the team was prepared to let him leave as a free agent after he faltered during the 2012 postseason. But he never...
The man they call “Papa Grande” is on his way back to Detroit. Well, maybe.
Jose Valverde, the 2011 MLB Delivery Man of the Year, was signed to a minor league deal by the Tigers on Thursday. Valverde was released following a disastrous 2012 postseason which saw him concede the closer’s role to lefty reliever Phil Coke. Valverde only pitched 2.2 innings in the Tigers’ run...
The Detroit Tigers maintained all offseason that they did not have any interest in bringing back former closer Jose Valverde. On Thursday the team announced a minor league deal for the 35-year-old.
Valverde had a down year in 2012. Despite 35 saves, Valverde had a 3.78 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Both numbers were his worst since 2006.
If Valverde cannot make it to the majors by May 5th...
The Detroit Tigers signed Jose Valverde to a minor-league contract on Thursday, one day after Phil Coke blew a save in a 3-2 loss to the Twins. Valverde’s contract includes an out-clause, which triggers on May 5 — if Valverde is not with the Tigers by then, he can void his deal and become a free agent again.
But according to GM Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers will “figure out pretty...
He'll make you feel good and bad and happy and sad. But mostly just sad. And mad. And glad...you don't own him. I'm talking, of course, of Jose Valverde. Motown just can't resist the temptations of signing Papa Grande. Smokey just went over all the fantasy baseball closers. There's $12 Salads. There's Donkeycorns. There's Brain Freezes. There...
All offseason long, the Detroit Tigers denied interest in re-signing free-agent closer Jose Valverde. Every other team in baseball also effectively denied interest in signing Valverde. The Tigers did next to nothing to address their closer situation, and on Wednesday, Phil Coke blew a save against the Twins. Thursday, the Tigers signed Valverde, albeit to a minor-league contract...
Now that Jose Valverde has signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers, the obvious question is: When will Papa Grande be back as the closer?
The obvious answer is: When he can once again command his out-pitch, the split-fingered fastball at Triple-A Toledo.
Valverde lost the ability to throw the splitter effectively late last season and became a one-pitch guy.