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Jim Leyland wants Jose Valverde back as “safety net”

Mar 2, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT

World Series - Detroit Tigers v San Francisco Giants - Game 1 Getty Images

Joel Sherman tweets:

So I am not surprised to hear Leyland remains interested in bringing Valverde back as closer safety net but $$ still not right. #Tigers

As mentioned yesterday, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News had a “personal guess” that Tigers manager Jim Leyland was “scared stiff” at the thought of relying on rookie Bruce Rondon in the ninth innning. With an otherwise uninspiring back of the bullpen that includes Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, and Octavio Dotel, it isn’t surprising to hear that Leyland wants Valverde back.

Valverde, who turns 35 years old on March 24, successfully converted 49 of 49 regular season saves in 2011, finishing with a 2.24 ERA. He had markedly less success last season, as he converted 35 saves in 40 opportunities and finished with a 3.78 ERA. It was his post-season performance, though, that hurt him immensely. He allowed nine runs in four appearances spanning 1.2 innings.

Other unsigned relievers of note include Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez and Brian Wilson of beard fame.

  1. Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    How is the money still not right? Does Valverde actually expect to get more than veteran’s minimum right now?

  2. cur68 - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Heh, heh, heh….Valverde…heh, heh, heh….
    He the Bread Pudding of closers: only tolerable if you’re really drunk and have just ceased to care anymore.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      /amends Shit List:

      1. Alexander Hamilton
      2. Koch brothers
      3. Bud Selig
      4. Jeff Loria
      5. (tie) Antonin Scalia/Clarence Thomas
      6. Jim Inhofe
      7. next-door neighbors cur68
      8. paperlions next-door neighbors
      9. Pete Campbell
      10. Thein Sein

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        What do I have to do to get on the list?

      • indaburg - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        Profess your undying love for The Federalist Papers, pc.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        Since I have not read the Federalist Papers, I have no opinion about them; however, my daily newspaper is having great difficulty in being level headed about the team that Vegas favors to win the World Series.

      • paperlions - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        I can tell you….but just telling you will get me back on the list….so…you are on your own.

      • cur68 - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        Saw Rachel Maddow on The Daily Show describing Scalia as an internet troll. Its nice to be included with the greats.

      • indaburg - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        Now you HAVE to spill, ‘lions.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        paper, is that a mistake you really want to make?

      • paperlions - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        Wild horses couldn’t drag it out of me….you are just going to have to make that mistake on your own.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:14 PM

        Now toss me an olive like a good little lion man. he he

      • indaburg - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        @’lions… wussy.

    • indaburg - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      You. Read. My. Mind.

      Do it , Kittens. Do it. Don’t go breaking poor Leyland’s heart.

  3. historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    I see that Bill would like another helping of bread pudding. :) Excellent!

    It really is unfortunate that Valverde will not get a chance to prove himself in the WBC. It is unrealistic to expect a 49-49 save record every year. 35-40 isn’t bad, but if you watched them, V-Wiggles was struggling to get them. Again, he does not totally suck and I hope someone else picks him up. It’s just that when you’re making a WS run this year, you need something a little more reliable. There are other teams out there that could use him — and he would make them competitive…just not for the WS necessarily. Leyland is just so loyal — maybe too loyal, and that’s a frustration. Of course he wants him back, but he would use him and that’s the problem. Stay strong, DD.

    Oh, and thanks, Bill, for the daily dose of former-Tigers awesomeness. <3

    /serves bowl of warm bread pudding w/ bourbon sauce…and the extra little shot, of course.

  4. proudlycanadian - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    As I wrote yesterday, some Tigers fan(s) think that the team will be so good that they do not really need a closer.

    Bill might be better off writing about all those wind aided home runs hit by his Phillies team today that led to 6 runs against the Jays.

    • cur68 - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      One thing was obvious in that game: Beaver AAA kids > Phillies AAA kids. The notable exception was Ramon Ortiz who just did not have it. Otherwise: butt kicking.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:23 PM


  5. pappageorgio - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    “scared stiff”of going with a rook closer? What about the idea of going into the 9th with Jose?

    I think I’d like to see what’s behind door #3 Jim!!!!

    • indaburg - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      Brian Wilson.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        If he comes back healthy…dolphin squeal!!!!

      • indaburg - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        Brian Wilson and break Leyland’s heart like that? Only a monster wants to break Leyland’s heart.

  6. kindasporty - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    I’m not normally into the conspiracy, but any chance that Boras asked the Tigers to pretend they’re interested and Leyland is playing along as a favor?

    • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      That would be excellent.

  7. brianbowman16 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    This shit right here is why Lynn Henning pisses off a lot of Detroiters. Leyland has not made a single comment that comes off as him secretly wishing any damn thing. The whole reason Henning even wrote that b s is because Leyland said he was heartbroken that Valverde hadn’t found a job yet. Henning should be writing for the NYC POST with as much speculative sh*t as he writes.

    • Detroit Michael - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Joel Sherman, not Lynn Henning, was responsible for this non-story.

  8. philliesblow - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Using Valverde as a safety net would make even a Flying Wallenda nervous.

  9. Minoring In Baseball - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Whether it’s Valverde or Wilson, or anyone else, no reason not to bulster the bullpen a bit more until Rondon develops. Illitch will spend the money if he thinks it will help Detroit win now. I don’t think any Tigers fan beleives the offense is good enough to get my on alone after last season.

  10. hotdogfinger - Mar 3, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    Anyone but Valverde. Tigers’ fans know that he was hanging on by a thread long before the post season meltdown last year. Even his 2011 was hardly as dominant as the numbers suggest. Plus he’s just an idiot.

  11. Ponsonby_Britt - Mar 3, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    I think the Tigers will now need to hire a manager for a safety-net against Leyland.

  12. Detroit Michael - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Tom Gage of the Detroit News followed up and there might be nothing to this story. Search for ‘grande’ at

    • jwbiii - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Heyman reports: “We’re not looking to add anyone,” Dombrowski said.—-yet

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