Valverde: I can get maybe 74 saves here
Jose Valverde had been quoted in his native Dominican Republic as aiming for 50 saves this season with the Tigers. He reported to Spring Training on Saturday and raised that total by quite a bit.
“You know what? I can do maybe 74 here,” Valverde said.
Yes, he meant 74 saves. And yes, that would be a record, by far. Francisco Rodriguez saved 62 games with the Angels two years ago.
“This is a good team here,” Valverde said. “You look at everybody here. We have guys who guys who can hit 30, 40 home runs — Ordonez, Cabrera, all these guys. My guys in the bullpen here, Zumaya, all these guys. When the game’s on the line, Zumaya throws the eighth and he’s throwing 100, 101. This team is good. I think I can do 50 or more.”
Valverde is certainly a driven individual, and he has a high standard for what to expect from himself, and others. The same story in the Dominican last week said he was unhappy with his agents and their work on his free agency. He confirmed Saturday that he has cut ties with the agents at Beverly Hills Sports Council and gone somewhere else, reportedly to Scott Shapiro.
That shouldn’t affect how he performs with the Tigers, who signed him to a 2-year, $14 million deal last month.
“That’s over,” Valverde said. “You know what I mean? What’s in the past is in the past right now. I’m here for my team, and I support them.”