Leading on Valverde is relative

I don’t like the idea of suggesting a team is in the lead for a free agent. The scorekeeping is completely subjective until a player decides where to sign. A team can easily hide their best offer until the last minute. Heck, a player doesn’t even have to take the supposed best offer. Who leads then?

That said, every indication backs up the notion that the Tigers’ offer for Jose Valverde is the most lucrative one out there. If it’s a two-year offer, as some indications suggest, it would also likely be the longest. And depending on who’s saying what, there could be multiple teams competing with them, one team, or none.

The Cardinals were rumored to have a lesser offer of their own out there for him, but MLB.com Cardinals reporter Matthew Leach had a source tell him that was “news to me” and that there’s “nothing to it.” A tweet from Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reported another offer from an unknown team, but the extent of that is unknown.

So are the Tigers in the lead? Well, Valverde hasn’t signed yet. The two sides were still talking Wednesday, according to a source, but as logical a fit as it seems, it’s still not done.

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