DETROIT (WXYZ) - Shocking?
Some Tigers fans would say so after learning that the club has agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with former closer Jose Valverde.
The 35-year-old Valverde, who saved 35 games in 40 chances for Detroit in 2012 with a 3.78 ERA, fell apart in the playoffs, and lost his closing job following Game 1 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski made the announcement before Thursday's game at Minnesota.
Valverde is a three-time All Star who led the AL with 49 saves in 2011 but wasn't as effective in 2012. He struggled badly in the postseason, allowing 11 hits, nine runs and two homers over four appearances, recording only eight outs.
Valverde became a free agent and wasn't re-signed.
Valverde will report to Detroit's spring training facility in Lakeland, Fla., for some work before being assigned to Triple-A Toledo. Dombrowski said there's no timetable or certainty for Valverde to join the Tigers.
Valverde has 277 career saves with Detroit, Houston and Arizona.