Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tigers have signed Jose Valverde. Good signing?

(image from Wikipedia)

The Tigers have reportedly signed Jose Valverde for 2 years to replace Fernando Rodney as their closer.  He is approximately 31 (espn.com says he is born in 1978, while baseball-reference has him being born in 1979).  He has a career conversion rate of 86%, and it has also been 86% over the past 3 years.  As a comparison, Jonathan Papelbon's is 89% and Fernando Rodney's is 72% (although it was 97% last year).   

2007-2009
116 Saves (T-4: K-Rod, Joe Nathan, Francisco Cordero, Jonathan Papelbon)
2.84 ERA
10.26 K/9
He even received MVP votes in 2007 (14th) and 2008 (24th), after recording 47 and 44 saves.

He is going to make about $7 million per season, which is significantly less than Francisco Cordero (about $12 million), K-Rod (about $12 million), and only slightly more than Fernando Rodney got from the Angels (5.5 million per year).  As long as he's healthy, it seems like a good move.  Although Todd Jones certainly had some decent (if heart-stopping) years, Valverde could easily become the best closer the Tigers have had, well, ever.

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