Mets sign Jose Valverde to minor-league deal

Posted: February 12, 2014 in Hot Stove, News, Opinion
Tags: ,

By Steven Inman

Jose Valverde and all of his celebrations are coming to the big apple

Jose Valverde and all of his celebrations are coming to the big apple

The Mets have announced that they have signed right-handed reliever Jose Valverde to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. Valverde should arrive in Port St. Lucie in the next couple of days.

Valverde, 35, posted a 3.00 ERA  and 110 saves for the Tigers from 2010-12. Valverde has 296 saves in his big league career across 10 seasons. However, he began to unravel late in the 2012 season and in the 2012 playoffs. He would eventually return to Detroit in May 2013, briefly solidifying the closer role before allowing six home runs in eight appearances. The end result was a 5.59 ERA that caused the Tigers to designate Valverde for assignment.

The Mets had serious interest in Valverde last offseason, but at the time he wanted a major-league deal. The Mets were unwilling to give him that deal.

Valverde is still young enough to bounce back but his issue has been fastball velocity. Valverde makes a lot of mistakes in the zone, especially to left-handed hitters with his breaking pitches. However he was always able to throw 96mph so it prevented hitters from looking strictly for his off speed pitches. The last couple of seasons Valverde’s velocity has been down and if that continues with the Mets, there is no reason to think he will have success.

If his velocity is decent, he can be a dynamic set-up man in the Mets very inexperienced bullpen. Valverde will earn $1 million if he makes the team plus can earn another $1.5 million in incentives.

  1. Mike Young says:

    Steve – The Mets are apparently willing to gamble on Valverde and Farnswoth on the chance that either one or both can provide the Mets with veteran BP experience. The only question for both of these veterans is can they still get MLB hitters out in either a hold or save situation. We shall soon find out. If one or both of these pitchers has anything left the Mets could end up with less blown holds and saves and more wins in 2014. Frankly, I hope both of them can still pitch and if Ike Davis returns to form and if Stephen Drew signs with the Mets for two years with no opt out provision then SA will have accomplished all of his objectives for the 2013-2014 off season. I know that there are a lot of ifs remaining but it has happened before and it can happen again. Thanks, Mike

    • Steven Inman says:

      Mike even though Valverde is the “bigger name” I believe Farnsworth will have the better year when all is said and done. Either way they are both very cheap as if they hit all their incentives they’ll make under $2.5 million each. Again they need Ike Davis so bad to be decent for them. It would change the whole complexion of the team as he would stretch their lineup. It would also take a lot of pressure off guys like Chris Young and Travis d’Arnaud who are expected to bat around Davis. Thanks for the comment! -Steve

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