The Mets announced Wednesday that they had signed Jose Valverde to a minor league contract, to add another veteran presence to their bullpen. He will join Vic Black and Kyle Farnsworth as candidates to set up the incumbent closer, Bobby Parnell, who is rehabbing after having surgery in September to repair a herniated disk.
In recent years, the Mets have made a habit of making moves like this, filling out their bullpen with aging, relatively inexpensive veterans. Last season the Mets took a chance on LaTroy Hawkins, who, at 40, pitched in 72 games with a 2.93 earned run average.
Perhaps Valverde, even at 35, can recapture his old form. From 2010 to 2012 he had a 3.00 E.R.A. and averaged about 37 saves during the regular season. But then he collapsed in the playoffs, which, at least in part, led him here now to the Mets.
Last year, the Tigers waited until April to bring him back, on a minor league contract. In 20 games, he converted 9 of 12 save chances and was mostly effective, but when he failed, he failed spectacularly. He allowed four runs twice, and only four runs total over his other 16 games, but he was released in early August.
Valverde's Career Stats:
|162 Game Avg.||3||4||3.19||68||32||69||52||27||24||7||29||75|