May 21, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde (46) during a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Detroit won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Good news, Tigers fans: Jose Valverde has signed a contract to play baseball, and it’s not with the Detroit Tigers!
The Tigers seemingly spent all of the 2013 offseason saying they wouldn’t bring Valverde back. And then they signed him to a minor league deal. And then, one day, he was back in the major leagues as the team’s closer (this after trying Phil Coke in the role).
But 20 appearances, three blown saves, and a 5.59 ERA later, the Tigers cut him loose and installed Joaquin Benoit as the permanent closer.
It was pretty clear that Valverde and the Tigers were never going to be an item again – the team had seen too many games go up in flames by then – but it is nonetheless comforting to see him off the market. Dave Dombrowski is on Step 9 of the Jose Valverde 12-step recovery program, and a relapse could be devastating for both him and the organization.
Valverde achieved some fantastic results in his first few years with the club – few things were as fun as cheering for him has he shut down the Yankees in a playoff series – and for that I appreciate him, but he **spoiler alert** appears to be well past the point of helping a championship contender. Even one with bullpen concerns.