Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 10/14/14
Michigan-news-february
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.”
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury

Report: Some Seahawks think Wilson isn’t 'black enough'

Darrelle Revis sent home for being late, misses practice

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

WATCH: Penguins perform 'O Canada' following tragedy

WATCH: Cutest grandma challenges Dwyane Wade to game of one-on-one

Tigers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.