A reporter tweets something and we have to write about it? I hate chasing around every rumor that a reporter types; but I suppose that's what I signed up for. Here we go:
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports tweeted:
Source: (Reliever Jose) Valverde has four offers, two of more than one year, all to be a closer. Arizona and Detroit are in.
This comes two days after Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com's Jason Beck:
"We're content with what we have now, the guys we have out there."
So, looks like somebody's got some bad information somewhere.
Some stats via Fangraphs or First Inning: His career ERA is 3.17 in 386 innings pitched. He has a career 3.47 fielding independent pitching stat, 10.96 strikeouts per nine innings (strikeouts in about 25-30 percent of plate appearances), 3 strikeouts per walk, a 40 percent ground-ball rate and one home run allowed per nine innings. So, he's got some pretty nice peripherals, for sure.
Valverde earned $3 million lost year while making 38 saves for the Houston Astros. Possibly the best closer on the market for the offseason, he was likely looking for a better deal than former Tigers relievers Fernando Rodney or Brandon Lyon got. Of course, what hurts him is his status as a Type A free agent who turned down arbitration. Long and the short of it you know by now: It's going to cost his new club a first-round draft pick, which means he'll struggle to find a team to offer him the kind of money he is looking for.
The Tigers would do fine to sign him up as closer if the price was right.
But it's the price thing that doesn't make much sense, isn't it?
The Tigers did not keep around a popular second baseman in Placido Polanco because they had a younger option who wouldn't cost much. They traded Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson to increase organizational depth and/or to save money.Oh, and that organizational depth they added came in the form of relievers.
So why would they give up a draft pick and forfeit the payroll savings by paying what it would cost to sign Valverde?
I don't think they would.
But it's my job to chase the rumors, so there you have it.
update: Jason Beck blogged his thoughts.
Fri AM update: Beck tweets source confirms Brown's tweet.