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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Detroit Tigers sign relief pitcher Jose Valverde to minor-league contract

Reunited and it feels so good….

- Jose Valverde has signed a minor-league contract—with no major-league commitment from the Detroit Tigers—general manager Dave Dombrowski announced late this morning.
Valverde will report to extended spring training in Lakeland and face some hitters before joining Triple-A Toledo.

Tigers scouts watched Valverde pitch Saturday during a workout in the Dominican Republic. Dombrowski said Valverde is in excellent shape and threw his splitter, a pitch he got away from last season, during the workout.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:59 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: closers, jose valverde, tigers

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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4404283)
Good that they aren't overreacting to last night's game.
   2. KT's Pot Arb Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4404290)
Finally, they filled their last hole.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4404298)
I never even knew he had become a free agent. Where was the Valverde bidding war? There was a Brandon League bidding war for goodness sakes.
   4. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4404334)
I'd say October pretty much doused any potential for a real bidding war.

People are losing their #### over this signing.
   5. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4404340)
happy or unhappy? tigers fans i know are in the latter camp.
   6. SG Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4404350)
Good luck with all that.
   7. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4404363)
I'm not unhappy if he has his 2010/11 stuff.

I doubt this has much to do with yesterday. The winning "hit" was a flyball to the warning track that should have been caught. Leyland spoke very highly of Valverde over the winter, and it doesn't cost anything to test out his repertoire.
   8. zonk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4404387)
Marmol the Tiger just sounds right and proper, doncha think?
   9. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4404410)
Why would any Tigers fans be unhappy about this? It's almost literally a free move. If he's great, he gets to compete for a bullpen role, if he sucks, status quo. The assumption for months was that the Tigers might throw a couple mil at him, which they resolutely did not do, and now that demand for his services turned out to be zero, they get him at the ml minimum, and somebody would be mad at it?
   10. Bug Selig Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4404812)
I fall into the low-risk, what-could-it-hurt camp. That said, most of the Tiger fans I talked to today (and we're talking about the guys at work and my wife, clearly not the BBTF crowd) are pissed. They hate him at a visceral level and literally expect his mere presence to derail any positivity the team may have had going.

In that way, he seems to be the new Brandon Inge. To the Tiger fans I know, failing on the field while making a lot of money and drawing a lot of attention to yourself seems to be the deadly trifecta.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:17 PM (#4404829)
I've always thought Brandon Inge and Jose Valverde were such similar personalities.
   12. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4404849)
Why would any Tigers fans be unhappy about this? It's almost literally a free move. If he's great, he gets to compete for a bullpen role, if he sucks, status quo.


That's what I don't get. It's a minor league deal that Valverde can opt out of in a month if he's not called up. And one would assume, if he sucks or is just mediocre, he probably won't be.

#10 is probably closest to why most Tigers fans who are unhappy about the move don't like it. The bitter taste of 2012, and more specifically, October, lingers still. Some folks are overreacting to the news, but that's gonna happen with a sector of every team's fanbase. I heard some grumblings yesterday after the walk-off loss that Austin Jackson is good, but is "afraid to get his jersey dirty" and doesn't dive enough. We'll ignore the obvious response that someone with Jackson's range doesn't find himself in a spot often where he needs to dive. Oh, and the hit yesterday being a result of some miscommunication, not lack of effort. Jackson dives for that ball and people are mocking him for crashing into the wall after diving six feet past the baseball.
   13. Bug Selig Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:12 PM (#4404859)
I've always thought Brandon Inge and Jose Valverde were such similar personalities.


Because everyone hated by a group of people has to be exactly the same.
   14. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:27 PM (#4404869)
In that way, he seems to be the new Brandon Inge. To the Tiger fans I know, failing on the field while making a lot of money and drawing a lot of attention to yourself seems to be the deadly trifecta.

Tiger fans have a long history of detesting their closer beyond all reason at even the slightest change in fortune, no matter how much he's done for them. It happened with Willie Hernandez almost before the ink had dried on his Cy Young and MVP, it happened with Henneman, it happened with Todd Jones, it happened with Matt Anderson (even though he sucked practically always), and it's happened with Valverde.

   15. cardsfanboy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4404903)
Tiger all non-Yankee fans have a long history of detesting their closer beyond all reason at even the slightest change in fortune, no matter how much he's done for them. It happened with Willie Hernandez almost before the ink had dried on his Cy Young and MVP, it happened with Henneman, it happened with Todd Jones, it happened with Matt Anderson (even though he sucked practically always), and it's happened with Valverde.


That is a little more accurate (although I imagine that the Astros fans loved Billy Wagner and Padres fans might have loved Hoffman)
   16. Squash Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:37 PM (#4404912)
it happened with Henneman, it happened with Todd Jones, it happened with Matt Anderson (even though he sucked practically always), and it's happened with Valverde.

Somehow I don't remember Henneman at all, but Jones and Anderson did both suck, as did Valverde last year. The Tigers haven't really had a stud closer in the 90s-00s-10s mold which is odd given that they haven't generally been shy about spending money.
   17. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:58 PM (#4404930)
The Tigers haven't really had a stud closer in the 90s-00s-10s mold which is odd given that they haven't generally been shy about spending money.


They gave it a shot with Troy Percival, but we recall how that panned out.
   18. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4404966)
Well, at least John Hiller was beloved.
   19. zonk Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4404970)
I'm trying to think of a truly 'beloved' Cubs closer.... do you have to go back to Sutter?

Some people would say Lee Smith - but they'd be wrong. Beck was a fan favorite, but he was always shaky. Kerry Wood maybe? Marmol can be - or was a few years ago, I guess - flat out nasty, but even when he'd strike out the world, he would sometimes go through fits of walking the world. Randy Myers is another possibility. Mitch Williams was more sideshow than beloved. Hawkins, Aguilera, Gossage, Dave Smith, and a whole host of over-the-hill guys were dreadful. Dempster was a wee bit overrated, IMO, as a closer.

   20. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4404985)
dont forget they also had borowski and alfonseca
   21. Greg K Posted: April 05, 2013 at 06:34 AM (#4405014)
I'd assume fans turning on a closer happens quite often because (aside from a select few) relief pitchers always fall off a cliff at some point, and there seems to be a season+ grace period teams give them before they accept reality.

As far as Jays closers go, Henke (the rare reliever without the decline), and Ward (who is still a presence with the Jays) were quite popular. There's been a lot of non-descript guys since then that haven't been particularly beloved, mostly because they weren't very good. Billy Koch seems like the exception as he was not particularly likeable. BJ Ryan was a fan favourite, until he got hurt and his contract sucked up a lot of money without any value.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4405069)
Closers are typically either extremely popular or extremely unpopular, it's the nature of the beast. If he's good there is nothing like a shutdown closer coming in, music blaring, crowd roaring and then 1-2-3 everyone is shaking hands. But when he's bad...oof, you just want to kill yourself when it's a 1 run game in the top of the ninth and they pan to the bullpen and "there's Shlabotnik getting loose, he'll pitch the bottom of the frame."
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4405071)
The worst is when you have a mediocre closer who no one likes that much, and the team makes a big production out of bringing him in, theme song, special video sequence, etc. Like Matt Capps on the Pirates. His theme song was Toby Keith's "Big Bull Rider". I would have preferred "Big Big Loader".

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