Originally written on The Flagrant Fan  |  Last updated 10/21/14
The Papa Grande era in Detroit is over. And that is probably for the best. Despite his 110 saves from 2010 to 2011 and despite being perfect in 2011, Valverde saw a serious reduction of his ability to fool or blow away major league hitters in 2012, particularly late in the season. And the eccentric closer was completely pounded during the last two post seasons. So now Valverde is gone and the Tigers need to find another closer. They were linked to Soriano most of the off season. That did not happen. Other closers came and went off the board. Some raised eyebrows at the unusual restraint of deal-making. But the truth is that the Tigers have plenty of candidates for the closer position. Let's take a quick look. The most quoted name linked this winter to the closer's role has been Bruce Rondon. Rondon is yet another Venezuelan and is going to be 22 years old. The Tigers have stated publicly that they are confident that Rondon can step into the role. Rondon did save 29 games...
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