Tell me about Valverde.

The Tigers signed Valverde to a 2 year contract with the 3rd optional. They actually paid more than Lyon or Rodney got from their new teams. He is a NLer and I am not familiar with him, except he has had a lot of saves the last 3 years. Did we do well?

They paid a lot for him, as everyone is for relievers lately, but he’s a very good pitcher. Great fastball in the mid-90s and an OK splitter. He used to strike out a ridiculous amount of batters but that’s been declining for a few years running. He’s a far better pitcher than Lyon (the signing of whom was one of the dumbest maneuvers in recent memory, considering) or Rodney.

Rodney was a weird one but he saved 36 out of 37 last year. Hard to argue with numbers but he was often lucky as hell. He lived 1 pitch from disaster. He would come in with a 3 run lead and give up 2 and leave the sacks loaded. That is a save. When they put him in for more than 1 inning he would get creamed, but the game would get tied and fall on someone else’s record. When he loses the plate ,no one is safe. He will give managers and fans premature grey hair. I hope Valverde is more consistent than that guy. I liked Lyon.

As a Phillies fan with some experience with a closer living one pitch from disaster and still having a fantastic season, I’d say there’s a lot to be said for a long-term track record, which Valverde has. It’s much easier to save a bunch one year by having good luck than it is to have really good numbers almost every year.

Far better? Brandon Lyon had a really solid year last year after the break.

After “Roller Coaster” Todd Jones, I don’t remember getting saves any other way.


This signing was a bit of a head-scratcher. Valverde is good, but not worth $7 million per year PLUS the loss of a first round draft pick. They got rid of Curtis Granderson because he cost too much and then turn around and do this? Why not give Joel Zumaya a shot?

Again, Valverde is not that bad, and Comerica Park will mask his primary weakness of sniffing around too high in the zone and giving up tons of flyballs. But it looks like Dave D. is asleep at the switch. What’s new?

Zumaya wouldn’t get the shot. I think it’d end up being Ryan Perry if Valverde never happened. Zumaya’s been hurt far too much, however, I think Zumaya can be better equipped to get it and get it done. Zumaya REALLY needs to get a major-league caliber second pitch, though.

The Tigers gave up their first-rounder because they have two more compensational picks from Lyon ad Rodney. They feel that the 19th pick was worth getting Valverde (I don’t, necessarily). I think they’re high on their scouting director, who dug up some gems for the Red Sox not too long ago (Ellsbury and Pedroia in the second rounds, both pegged by this guy, if memory serves me right).

And also stop playing Guitar Hero.

Daniel Schlereth was also ostensibly acquired as a potential closer option – or at least that’s what he’s rated as – which obviously won’t happen for a couple of years now (I can’t imagine a $9M option for a third year gets picked up).

It’s definitely a bit of a headscratcher considering how (relatively) many relief options they already had and considering where the team is in terms of the rest of the roster.

That’s what I thought, too. We didn’t resign Rodney or Lyon, but we did get some nice bullpen depth in the Granderson trade (which I liked). We couldn’t scrape up the money to resign Polanco for a year or two (the team’s best clutch hitter), but we could pay to sign Jose Valverde (plus the first-rounder). There’s an unknown quantity right up the middle defensively (Polanco is a Gold Glover and Granderson isn’t too far behind). I would have thought that most of the Tigers solutions would have come from in-house. After this year, something like 80 million dollars is coming off the books (which will, rightfully, be going to retain Justin Verlander’s services).

Where the plan would have been to retain their players, wait out until next year and make some decent, short-term acquisitions. I think the rationale is that the team needs a solid option at closer to stay competitive. I can jive with that, too, but there just seem to be mixed messages so far.

Zumaya appeared in 29 games last year, 21, year before, 28 year earlier and 62 in 2006. The Tigers are in love with fastball pitchers. If he can pitch, he will get his chance. But has been hurt every year since 2006. He was hurt on a dune buggy, but cooked up a story about moving boxes.
The Tigers have to show the team they want to win. If they just let Lyon and Rodney go, the team might think they are not trying. Polanco hurts but Sizemore has earned a shot .

Valverde is a solid closer, more reliable than what the Tigers had, but not lights out like a Nathan. I agree though that it is a poor use of resources. The Tigers would have been better off in filling in one of their lineup holes.

Can’t really improve on Hawkeyeop’s comment; is Valverde good? Absolutely. Is it still puzzling? Absolutely.

Teams really overrate closers. Valverde’s about as reliable as a human relief pitcher gets (Mariano Rivera is not human) but still, they just devoted many millions to a part time pitcher. It’s puzzling when they’re claiming to be unable to afford full time position players, all of whom are more important than a closer.

The Tigers have a pretty high payroll. But, they charbroiled a pile of money when they signed Donte Willis for a long term . They got less than zero for that one. Then Zumaya stays hurt… Guillen missed over half and came back only swinging right handed. Trainor missed the whole season.


Well, he appeared in 4 games with 13 at bats last year. He was a faint memory of catchers past.

I didn’t even fix the “Dontrelle” Willis problem you had there, either.

Going into last year, Lidge’s track record looked pretty similar to Valverde’s going into this year. One crappy year in the past six, with the rest pretty good to excellent.