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Jose Valverde won’t pitch in World Baseball Classic due to personal issue

Mar 1, 2013, 3:05 PM EDT

Jose Valverde Getty Images

Jose Valverde can’t convince an MLB team to sign him despite saving 35 games with a 3.78 ERA for the Tigers last season and now he’s not even going to pitch in the World Baseball Classic.

Valverde was slated to play for the Dominican Republic, but the team announced that he’s been removed from the roster due to an undisclosed “personal issue” and replaced by Lorenzo Barcelo.

Once upon a time Barcelo was a top prospect in the White Sox’s farm system, but his big-league career stalled at age 24 after posting a 4.50 ERA in 66 innings and the 35-year-old right-hander has spent the past few seasons in the Mexican League.

  1. historiophiliac - Mar 1, 2013 at 3:13 PM


    Thank you, Aaron, for our daily dose of former-Tigers awesomeness. <3

    • evan5 - Mar 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      I know he’s out of favor with many baseball fans for his on-field celebratory antics, but I almost feel bad that the guy still isn’t signed. For all the negativity, Papa Grande is a great teammate.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        I meant the picture. I don’t hate him. I’m glad they’ve let him move on, but I really am surprised no one else has signed him. He’s got consistency issues, but he doesn’t totally suck. I do hope he finds a nice home elsewhere. I enjoyed the little wiggles and all.

      • paperlions - Mar 1, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        José Tigre definitely has some of the best pictures. This one, and the one where it looks like he’s trying to blow candles out on a cake that is 60’6″ away, are favs.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:31 PM

        Someone should photoshop King Felix and Valverde together in a picture…

  2. gigab0t - Mar 1, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Yeah I know what his problem is:


  3. pisano - Mar 1, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    He’s an explosion waiting to happen, when you bring him in, it could be good, bad, or ugly.

  4. darthicarus - Mar 1, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    He didn’t want to be listed as “Former MLBer” Jose Valverde on rosters.

  5. vallewho - Mar 1, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    The personal issue might be “not having a guaranteed contract”. why would he risk getting hurt in the WBC at this point????

    • jwbiii - Mar 1, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Showcase. The stadiums will have plenty of scouts in them.

      • vallewho - Mar 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        I think at this point people know what he brings to the table…unless he learned a new dance over the winter.

      • jwbiii - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        When we last saw Valverde, in the postseason, he was really bad at getting hitters out. He had an ERA of 5 in September. If he had pitched ok in the WBC, a team in need of bullpen help could say, “Well, if we limit him to 50 innings or so, maybe. . .”

      • historiophiliac - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        Also, the question is: Can he be as good again as he was in 2011? Was last post-season a slump and he’s worked through it, or is he really done? If he pitched well in the WBC, teams might think the former could be the case instead of just going w/ the latter conclusion.

  6. jwbiii - Mar 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Lorenzo Barcelo is the last man standing from the 1997 White Sox “White Flag” trade with the Giants.

  7. Minoring In Baseball - Mar 2, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    It must be something somewhat serious, since not playing will only hurt his chances of being signed this season. As bad as he was in the playoffs, he was decent last season, and pretty darn good in 2011. You’d think some team would take a chance.

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