January 7th, 2010
UPDATE Friday: While there’s interest in Valverde from the Tigers and other clubs, it’s doubtful any club is going to approach Valverde’s current price if the $8 million per year demands reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney are accurate. Detroit isn’t going to spend that kind of money on a closer given its situation, and neither likely is Arizona.
Something else to keep in mind: While Octavio Dotel and Kevin Gregg might be logical alternatives to Valverde on the free-agent market, they’re all represented by the same agency. Like last winter, Beverly Hills Sports Council represents a lot of relievers.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Also, if you’re hoping the Tigers or some team could work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Astros to add Valverde without giving up the first-round Draft pick Valverde would require as a Type A free agent, it’s probably not an option. Houston is expected to seek the Draft picks — a first- or second-rounder from the signing club (Detroit would have to give up its first-rounder), plus a compensation pick at the end of the first round.
Just because the Tigers are one of the rare teams left with an opening
at closer doesn’t mean they’ll be able to close out a deal with the top
closer left on the market.
While the Tigers have shown interest
in Jose Valverde, a report from Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown and later confirmed by a baseball source suggests that
the big right-hander has four offers from teams looking for him to
become their closer. Two of those offers, Brown cites from an
unidentified source, are for multi-year contracts.
immediately clear whether one of those offers came from Detroit, but
the Tigers have interest. Still, it’s easier to see one on a one-year basis than a long-term contract.
Besides the well-founded concerns over payroll and president/general
manager Dave Dombrowski’s historic reluctance to sign relievers to
multi-year deals, the Tigers have several young relievers with closer
potential either ready for the Majors (Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth) or
on the verge of it (Cody Satterwhite, Robbie Weinhardt).
Regardless, this suggests it won’t simply be a waiting game without competition for Valverde on the market.
has a policy of not commenting on contract negotiations, specifically
with free agents. He suggested earlier this week that he’d be “content”
with his relief options if they didn’t sign anyone else, but he also
said they’re “open-minded” about finding ways to improve.