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.
— Patrick Reusse (@1500ESPN_Reusse) April 4, 2013
Valverde has been both effective and wild in his time with Detroit. That is part of why he was not immediately re-signed this past offseason. Valverde went through the entire 2011 season without blowing a save. In 2012, he blew five saves and saw his ERA jump by a point and a half. Yet, Valverde still offers a better chance for the Tigers than what they have now.
Although Valverde battled fatigue down the stretch last season which may have affected his ability to pitch effectively, he will bring fire and determination back to the closer's role. And surprisingly, he will bring a little more confidence. The Tigers had every intention of using Bruce Rondon as their new closer, but he blew up during the spring and was sent to Triple-A. Now, they need someone they can trust, and as strange as it may be, Valverde is that guy.
In 2012, Valverde posted a 3.78 ERA and saved 35 games. It was an average year, if not solid. In 2011, he was fantastic. Valverde saved 49 games in 2011, didn't blow a save, and posted a 2.24 ERA.
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