The Detroit Tigers on Thursday signed former closer Jose Valverde to a minor league deal. The purpose of this deal is to allow the Tigers to take a closer look at him during the next month, according to Tigers play-by-play announcer Dan Dickerson, on Twitter.
Valverde will pitch in extended spring training before heading north to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers watched Valverde throw this past weekend and apparently liked what they saw, Dickerson reports. They saw a much more consistent pitcher -- better velocity on the fastball and the splitter, Dickerson wrote. (Note: I translated the Twitter shortening into a regular sentence on that.) Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told Dickerson this should be seen more along the lines of "leave no stone unturned" and "don't have anything to lose by taking a look" than, presumably, panic.
The opt-out clause on the contract is May 5. Contract details have not been reported yet.
Rob wrote in February the Tiger should try something similar to this. Yes, he's taking a victory lap right now.
We'll update this post with more info as it comes.