In Which A Jose Valverde Rumor Surfaces

September 1, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde (46) celebrates after the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Just yesterday Garrett Craig wrote a piece about the big-name relievers that were still on the market – specifically highlighting Jose Valverde, Francisco Rodriguez, and Brian Wilson.

Word came out of New York today that the Mets may be in the market for a new closer. The article, on ESPN New York, touches on the three players listed above, but mentions that Jose Valverde may be the most likely candidate to come in to compete for their closer job.

Alderson is pursuing Jose Valverde to compete — or more likely unseat — Francisco as closer, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com.

The deal with Scott Boras over Valverde would have to be on the Mets’ terms, though. That means it would probably be akin to the contract to which Shaun Marcum agreed — $4 million base, with a similar amount in incentives based on games finished or saves, in Valverde’s case.

The article went on to mention that Francisco Rodriguez is likely seeking something in the $7 million range for next season, which is more than the Mets want to pay. This sheds some light onto why there’s been so little chatter on some of these guys in the offseason: teams are simply not interested in paying over $5 million or $6 million for an aging closer.

As Garrett mentioned yesterday, the Tigers could look at Rodriguez or Wilson (if he’s healthy) if they remain unemployed and their prices drop, but they’ve made it clear that they’re not interested in spending big money on a closer this year.

Something like $4 million with incentives wouldn’t be bad for Rodriguez – a guy with a tremendous amount of career success and experience closing games – but Detroit doesn’t want to block rookie Bruce Rondon with a high-priced guy before they get a chance to see what he can do against major leaguers.

Topics: Detroit Tigers, Jose Valverde

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  • Matt Pelc

    It should be interesting to see how he fares if/when he is signed. I didn’t get the Tigers’ fans beating him up, even when he went perfect in 2011, including the postseason. I mean, yes, he didn’t get many 1-2-3 innings, but not many closers do that on a regular basis. He absolutely should not have been pitching in the playoffs last year as he was as cold as can be, however, no Tiger fan was really upset when Fernando Rodney left, and then neither were Angels fans when he moved to Tampa before last year and then he had an incredible year for the Rays, seemingly out of nowhere. Closers are so unpredictable.