Tigers sign Valverde to minor-league contract

The Tigers are going to take a look at former closer Jose Valverde.

After an offseason of back-and-forth and a season-opening closer by committee, the Tigers announced Thursday they have agreed to terms with Valverde on a minor-league contract that includes an opt-out clause if he isn’t in the big leagues by May 5.

Though the contract doesn’t include a Major League side, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said he has discussed “parameters” of a big-league deal with Valverde’s agent, Scott Boras.

Valverde saved 110 games over three seasons for the Tigers, including a franchise-record 49 in as many opportunities in 2011. He racked up 35 saves for Detroit last year, but lost his closer job after back-to-back blown saves in the postseason — first in Game 4 of the AL Division Series at Oakland, then again in the opener of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium.

Dombrowski said at season’s end that the Tigers would not re-sign him, and manager Jim Leyland stated during Spring Training that they had nothing going on at that time. Dombrowski said the two sides stayed in touch, but that a deal didn’t come together until Thursday morning, when Valverde agreed to come in on a minor league contract with no big league commitment.

“Scott has talked extensively to me throughout the last couple months,” Dombrowski said, “but we just kind of thought it would be a mutual situation, with what Papa Grande has done for the organization in the past, that we were willing very much to take a look at him and see what happens.”

That said, Dombrowski added, they’re not just simply doing this as a favor to Valverde.

“We’re doing it to have the best team we possibly can as time goes on,” Dombrowski said. “If this makes us the best team, then, great. And if it doesn’t, then we don’t have any commitments.”

Valverde will report to the team’s extended Spring Training program in Lakeland, Fla., and throw to hitters before joining Triple-A Toledo after that.

Valverde has been throwing near his home in the Dominican Republic, where the Tigers had a scout watch him throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Boras told MLB.com last week that Valverde was throwing 93-94 mph, and Dombrowski said Thursday that Valverde was throwing in the low to mid-90s.

“We’re not looking to prolong this,” Dombrowski said. “It’s a situation where he can either pitch and come back and help us here or we probably end that relationship at that time.”

The deal was announced a day after the Twins rallied for two runs in the ninth off Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke to beat the Tigers at Target Field.

While Dombrowski said he got a text from an agent for another free-agent reliever within a minute after that game ended, he indicated the Valverde deal came together Thursday morning after Valverde agreed to take a minor league deal with no Major League guarantees.

“It’s a situation where he really has never been willing to take this scenario, to say, ‘OK, let him show you that he can do the job for you. We think he’s throwing the ball better,'” Dombrowski said. “OK, let’s see what it is.”


will he close games at AAA or will Rondon?

Noooo, it wasn’t a reaction. It was a…..what you call that……coincidence?

I think there’s an important typo. Other sources are reporting DD as saying they’re NOT simply doing this as a favor to Valverde.

Oh, you fixed it already!

Pingback: Tigers to Valverde: ‘What’s up?’ | Vinnie On Baseball

do dan and jim know yet? lol, they haven’t said anything about it yet!

Stupid signing. Are we grooming Rondon to be the closer or not? Having Valverde looking over your shoulder in AAA wont help!!!

It was said before and it bears repeating. What does this do to the development of Bruce Rondon. It was seemingly evident that Rondon has ability but needed to learn how to pitch back-to-back and improve his command.
This makes that task a lot harder.

I guess Porcello is going to continue the walk parade the Tgers pitching has been hosting the last couple of days? Didn’t cause any damage except for the added pitches.

Was that the 1st walk off Porcello all year? He looks a little “off” thus far. Tough break on the Morneau single. That was a nicely thrown pitch.

Have to keep that pitch count down. Hard on any bullpen, much less the way this one is configured.

Bruce Rondon will continue to pitch and hopfully, find some control. Doesn’t matter if it’s the 7th or 8th inning. We saw he wasn’t ready for primetime. Valverde will work out in Florida and come up to Toledo. If he looks good, the Tigers need him. How much he has left in the tank will be interesting. God, I still miss Joel Zumaya

Exactly right. Valverde can pitch the 7th or 8th, doesn’t matter. Rondon can close for Toledo. This is a no-risk signing.

OK, 2 outs and a man on 3rd with Avila up. Can he do it?

This announcement surely puzzles me – from the outside looking in it seems like quite a knee-jerk reaction to one game, which I am sure DD is much smarter than that, but it does make us look silly. I hope they know what they are doing, they get paid a lot of money to figure it out so I guess I’ll go with that. Come on Tigers, let’s score some runs!

Avila is becoming a myth. Upsetting to see him struggle like this. He has almost zero confidence at the dish.

Can the bats, at least, warm up.

There is nothing wrong with depth. Bullpen by commitee will work but JL has to push the right buttons.

I like how much Austin is running, hope that keeps up this season

Atta boy Miggy – another good RBI, like that we are taking advantage of their errors

At the risk of sounding greedy—why have we not seen any power in our lineup yet.
Who will be the first Tiger to go yard?
My pick is 2E. Actually make that Miggy.

baserunning this season has been pretty good, has helped them produce some runs

radio team mentions that Pelfrey allowed 29 of 31 stolen base attempts in 2011

Oh my it’s way too early in the season for me to be frustrated by these hitters as I was last year. Quick easy outs, while our pitchers seem to throw endless amount of pitches.

These early days of spring lay in slumber
As the offense seeks the heavy lumber.
The day of the Tiger surely draws near
Of this this the loyal fans have no fear.
29 years and the faithful are weary
When will we wind the World Series.

one thing that’s been established this season…fastball up and over the plate is going to get smoked by many major league hitters

Yep this is the real Rick Porcello not the mirage from spring training. Lots of hits and long balls. Meanwhile the high priced tigers just scatter a few singles here and there.

It’s only the 4th inning and feels like it should be the 7th or 8th.

The FB pitchers missed low . The groundball pitchers ( Coke too) are missing high.

If the starting rotation is having difficulty getting quality starts this team will have difficulty winning games.
I will never understand the overall absence of power and the team wide slumps that our guys have displayed in recent years.

BTW – these are the first runs given up by a starter this year.

Infante up and no sign of even thinking about a sac bunt. When you have a team that is obviously not hitting for power you need to consider the alternatives.

Doesn’t Omar have really good numbers against pelfry and one of the only tigers actually hitting at all……why would you bunt there?

In my humble opinion that is?

Infante has hit Pelfrey well in the past…reasonable to let him swing away imo. he flew out on a fastball up inner half that he could have driven.

Really quality at bat by Austin there. Remember last year? When the Tigers had a guy down on the canvas and they kept letting him get back up to fight? Need to change that this year. 88 wins won’t win the division this year.

Bad bunt…..

Hopefully Miggy can get it done.

Wow—heckuva a play and a heckuva smart bunt by Hunter. Good to see.

Nope……no clutch hitters here right now. What a waste.

Wake me up, Tigers! I’m falling asleep. It’s like watching the same movie over and over

I would bunt because we are a run down on the road with nobody displaying any power. The team is not scoring runs. you have to manufacture. As to Torii’s bunt, I actually thought it was a smart play and a very good bunt. He just wasn’t fast enough to beat it out. Plouffe made as good a play as could possibly be made on that play. Outstanding in fact.

My opinion is that Torri hit it too hard and it was a play I would expect most to make. But whatever.

I guess I’ll see Papa at a Mud Hens game – wonder if he does his dancing when in the minors? That will shake up the Toledo games a bit!

“If you play for one run, that’s all you’ll get.” Or perhaps not even one

I guess bunting with your #9 hitter and the top of the lineup down 1 run on the road makes no sense.

The book says never bunt to tie on the road. The home team will have one more time to win

I have no problem with the idea of bunting for a base hit there…but it was a bad bunt, he wasn’t sacrificing. Now if there were no outs then go for it sacrifice.

I think one thing we can agree on is that these games have been extroidinarily boring. When your team doesn’t hit, it’s a ral snoozefest!


No news about Wells?

Can’t believe they wouldn’t go after Casper.

Don’t they have enough guys who can’t hit the baseball

Weak impotent at bats continue………..


Big curse word from Alex when that pop up left his bat.

Alex is another mirage….he was good for a year but ever since he’s been barely average.

First starter to allow a run going for the first QS. Irony

Yippeee! There is someone inside there after all.
Alex has the goods to be a star. He just doesn’t believe it. It’s a shame.
As to bunting on the road- when you simply cannot score (some of you may notice we have not been) or seem incapable of it then you need do figure something else out.
Infante can bunt, he can run, he can maybe force an error on the part of the defense. You don’t necessarily have to bunt the whole at bat. You can try one then hit. No point in discussing this as some people like small ball and some don’t.

Here is something else to discuss: Dotel to face the LHB??
Leyland is showing a complete misunderstanding of mixing and matching and use of his pen.

288 .360 .413 .772 BAA

well at least JL wasn’t hiding a Doc Oc injury…..Doc looked good out there

Dodged a bullet. I’d have brought in Downs or Smyly.
Now, it is time for the offense to take the cue.

Awesome at bat Hunter…………you gotta be kidding me. Now they walk miggy, what do ya think a predictable Prince weak ground ball for a double play.

Fielder up with bases loaded…advantage Tigers dontchathink?

Yikes, Torii. That puts a hole in the big inning.

c’mon prince – let’m victor see’em

my b i thought 2 outs.
hopefully victor can bring home 2 guys or so

Torii got thown for a loop by two close called strikes. As a hitter in that situation that is very discouraging. I am surprised he didn’t overcome though.
I think Prince will not hit into a DP. I hope he does get some lift and not whiff.

Oh, come on, crank one outta there.

r u kidding me – back to back to back pitching changes?

Okay, now let’s see if we get the Victor difference in this lineup today.

same outcome

That was not an strike

bit surprised they’re pitching to Martinez with Tuiasosopo on deck

oops forget bases loaded

Again a wasted opportunity…….surprise surprise surprise. Again its way too early to be this frustrated by this team. Second and third with nobody out and can’t even manage a freaking sacrafice fly. Unforgivable…….and completely predictable. Son of a…… Torri really blew it

disgusting. middle of the order is a no-show again today

6-7-8 coming up in the 8th. One more time for the top of the order. Keep it to one run.

Eltigre your right the first three pitches to Victor weren’t strikes…..

By the way interesting that 2-2 pitch to hicks was a strike to hunter and victor and prince, I hate umpires.

so THATS why JL didn’t start andy!

leadoff walk in late innings of close game…manager’s nightmare

alex avila fixed all that

Alex is good at weak ground balls to the first base side.

JIM PRICE SUCKS! its bad enough we have to hear him slop on his cough drop every 5 seconds. but did you just hear what he said??? “that pitch was right down the poop shoot”. he is terrible, i dont care if he was a bench warmer on the ’68 team. he ruins every home run call by dickerson by saying “wow” right after the ball is hit. but that damn cough drop that he slops on all day is just so irritating. feel bad for the class act in dan dickerson.

well dude, that’s your opinion. I like jim price alot. i got his jersey.
but he sure does slop on that fuggin cough drop all day….sheeesh kill’m me jimmy!

He had throat cancer and the treatments make his voice hoarse. It doesn’t bother me.

Yeah. The slopping is annoying. Read an article a few days ago by a journalist who also expressed his displeasure, but he said Price was actually eating when miked, usually hot dogs.

I didn’t hear him say that. Not saying he didn’t, but I enjoy listening to him. I enjoy their banter

he did say that. exactly that – but i don’t see how that is so terrible. is it much different than saying ‘he gave up a meatball’?

Don’t listen to him, nobody’s forcing you!

They tried to get ride of the “singing” concession man that roams the stands, too. Thumbs down by almost all Tiger fans.

this past halloween i was “opera hotdog guy” – the guy you speak of. It was a riot!

Twins schooling the Tigers on how to get runs in from 3rd….,

There will be no 9th inning so bring someone to end this game

Gettin their butts whipped. We have 2 unearned runs. This team does not have it together.

aw heck – i think that’s a wrap

Two too late

There is no E in the boxscore?

You talking about the first game of the year?? Cabrera’s error gone??

Today. The ball deflected by Fielder.

Well I wouldn’t have expected to necessarily go to Minnie and sweep (although you hope). But I certianly expected a couple… I expected the guys to hit and pitch a whole lot better than they did. This is embaressing for the team. A lot of high priced players barely even showed up. Twins > Tigers.
You wait for months for games to start and your treated to this piece of crap team… Anybody feeling 2008? High expectations and a team that can’t beat the twins and probably couldn’t beat the Astros.

“Not a good way to start the season” You can put it on the board, Jim Price.

So the first 2 games were the pitchers fault because they only went 5 innings but did not give up any runs? A piece of crap team? This is the 3rd game of the season. There is no place like home. Let’s see what happens at Comerica, Some of the hitters, like Torii, take a pitch that they should be hitting the opposite way. Why not call up Rondon? What have you got to lose?

GK–your team will figure this out. They will be in contention. They are not good at playing the game when they are front-runners and extolled by the media.
There is an uncertainty with the Tigers. It seems every year they depend on someone else (the rotation, the super-stars, the manager) to bear responsibility.
The uncertainty comes from issues like not having a closer, from not having confidence in their “team”.
Frustrating but something I worried about in ST. What if the rotation struggles? And they have, so far.

DB, your pride. That is what they have to lose. They made a call on Rondon and professional reputation is at stake. He won’t get called back up unless he makes it work at Toledo where they can then look like they made the right call.
The lack of power in this lineup is frightening. Not squaring up on the ball–nobody really, except perhaps AJ.

I will admit that this team plays a brand of baseball that I don’t really care for all that much, but this is the team we have. No point complaining about it everyday. In the end, we’ll have about 88 wins again and that will either be enough or it won’t. I don’t expect them to make the postseason every year.
Fortunately for me, I have the Nationals to watch also. Denard Span just dragged a perfect bunt up the firstbase line, had it beat out, and then the pitcher kicked the ball beyond the bag and Span took second. Different team, different style of play.
Both made the postseason last year and will contend again.

The Four Tops to sing the National Anthem tomorrow. I saw them a couple of years ago at Wolf Trap and they’re very good. Some of them are sons of the original members.

I cried when Levi Stubbs died. Bernadette, Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch, Ain’t No Woman Like the One I’ve Got. They don’t make them like that anymore.

David Aardsma: damaged goods?

A real fielder at 1B and the games was 3-2 into the 9th.

Valverde blew the save in the fist game of the season last year. Nobody went for a new closer then.
They never tried seriously the committee.

Only 3 games but last year’s frustration level is returning.

You are right Rich. This is our team … like it or lump it. They will go into team wide funks. They will tighten up in run producing situations. They will score runs when they string a few hits together and somebody runs into one. The starting pitching will be fine. The pitch counts will become extended and they will go deeper. That is the least of our worries (unless we have a couple of injuries).
We are now 0 for 4 with the bases loaded.
Greg, where are you with your “3 things I liked …. ” We could have used that the last couple of days.
The season starts tomorrow.
Go Tigers.
— Bob

Oh, meteorologist. What are the chances for afternoon showers this weekend in the Motor City??

The Mud Hens are four innings into their 2013 season. Twelve Mud Hens have batted and ten have struck out. No hitter in process.

The are training for the big club …😉
— Bob

Holaday jacks a homer to break up the no-no in the seventh. 14 Ks for Cingrani of the Louisville Bats.

Deja Vu. JL talking about the team not hitting. But we’re goo hitters. Avila backing him up and saying we’re gonna hit eventually.
The problem is how many games can you afford to not be good hitters in?
If this team has trouble hitting they will have trouble pitching too.

Error me!! No homer for Holaday. Bad read on the computer. Final: Bats 4 Mud Hens 3.

I wondered why Michael Morse wasn’t seriously considered by DD in the Off-Season. The Nats simply took a pitching prospect in return.
Morse tore up spring training and is doing the same up north.

Luis Marte with the blsave. Where is Rondon?

It was not a save situation. Marte came into the game after Toledo had scored three runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 3-3. Luis gave up a walk-off homer. So maybe I’ll get a chance to see Rondon tomorrow night

Dan, Rich, Bob, and everyone who has been on this blog for 5+ years. Just frustrated these last few games because we can not hit. Pride, yes. Who was the last great closer we had? John Hiller? Greg? I don not know if there have been 3 things he has liked! Also, where is Marty? Go Tigers!

Guillermo Hernández. 32 in 33 /1.91 ERA/ / 80 Games /141 Innings pitched MVP

And his setup was not bad either: Aurelio López. They went 89-0 when leading after 8

Well hello, my Blogga Friends. I’ve been waiting to give everyone an update on my cancer treatment, and the report came in on the 22nd. of March. It was a great report . The PSA was undetectable which means the cancer is under control. However, four days later, I was rushed to our local hospital with a blood hemoglobin of 4(average is 10). Eleven days in the hospital with internal bleeding. Received 11 pints of blood. did see the first three games. Three things will post tomorrow night. Twenty pounds lighter, and a lot more thankful. God is good.

Radiation treatment?

You better post tomorrow. I was thinking the same thing as others today….where’s those 3 good things?

sorry to hear about that hospital stay Greg – glad to see you back, a good reminder that ultimately this is just a game – a great game, but just a game and one here for our enjoyment. I always like hearing your 3 good things, your positivity is welcomed!

Anyone think that “closer by committee” is actually Jim’s search for a closer from within, an audition or tryout of sorts?

I hoped he would have been a tad more creative in the execution thus far.

That Downs kid looks pretty good. There’s 1 good thing.

He already decided to go with Coke

I have not heard why Andy Dirks did not start the game. If any other regular didn’t start you know there would be an explanation.
It didn’t matter but I do get weary of the word games and wool being pulled.
Is he or isn’t he our left-fielder?

This is Leyland’s 8th season here. How many LH hitters have we had who were everyday starters? The answer may lie within……….?

Probably resting him because as you all know, Jim questions his everyday durability

Leyland felt it was his best chance to give Kelly some ABs. He said Dirks would start in the next couple games. Wait til Sunday when we face CC Sabathia who Andy hit in the playoffs.

They better win before Sunday or I’m not watching. Show us some life, Tigers!

I bet Andy is just emaciated from all the innings he has been playing this year.

get kelly in there while his bat was still hot. he went 1-2 today, no? what has dirks done today? plus you have him at your disposal late in the game…where he got a walk and was LOB.

Pingback: Inside the Batters Box › AL Notes: Valverde, Rays, Viciedo, Wells

Pingback: Inside the Batters Box › Tigers Sign Jose Valverde

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You are welcome Andy!!!

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