Originally posted on Baseball Hot Corner  |  Last updated 4/5/13
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 to the World Series, but gave up 11 hits and nine earned runs, with an ERA over 30. Valverde seemed to have lost the touch that saw him go a perfect 49 for 49 in save opportunities in 2011, and Detroit decided to cut their ties with the flamboyant fireballer in the 2012 offseason. The Tigers planned to replace Valverde with rookie Bruce Rondon, a highly-touted prospect in Detroit’s minor league system. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Rondon proved he wasn’t ready for the Major Leagues with a sub-par Spring Training, allowing 17 hits and nine walks over 12 innings of work. Rondon was optioned to Detroit’s AAA affiliate...
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Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

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