Jose Valverde is 35 years old. Players in their late 30s never get better naturally, so his decline will come — sooner rather than later.
However, as we sit here a day after Valverde’s resurfacing with the Tigers and first save of the season, there’s nothing to suggest that his decline is imminent in 2013. Moreover, Valverde never deserved to lose the Tigers’ closer’s role in the first place, so the reunion between the two sides not only benefits both parties, but the breakup itself never should have occurred.
Back on Oct. 30, 2012, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski indicated to reporters that the team had no intention of bringing back Valverde. This came on the heels of the closer’s well-documented meltdown in the postseason, blowing consecutive saves in the ALDS and ALCS.
What Dombrowski exemplified was how far Valverde has fallen in Detroit, with the reliever essentially being looked at as a broken commodity. But while there’s no question that Valverde pitched very poorly du...