Update: Well, maybe not. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, who spoke to a member of the Marlins front office, the rumor is apparently “utterly false”. Oh, Scott Boras, are you up to your old tricks again?
The Miami Marlins, after spending the off-season blowing up the MLB team that they carried into 2012, are currently in another rebuilding process. Part of that means doing a little bit of trade-chip prospecting, even if the team will have to spend a bit of cash doing so.
According to ESPN Deportes, they may be close to finding just one such extra trade chip in former All-Star Jose Valverde:
You could make the argument that the team would be pursuing the closer in order to field a group of players that resembles a competitive major-league squad in 2013, but it seem clear to me that any one-year deal reached with Valverde here would be a make-good deal, and will more than likely see him get shipped out of town to the first desperate GM needing a reliever that comes calling.
Part of that is because that’s just how the Marlins’ operate, but the other part is that there just isn’t really a fit for a 34-year on on this squad of mostly young players (minus Placido Polanco and Juan Pierra, who stick out like sore thumbs).
Still, even with a make-good deal, the Marlins could wind up getting quickly dimishing returns from Valverde, who has 84 saves over the last two seasons. A three-year decline in K/9, velocity, and an increasing BAA and opponent’s line-drive rate does not bode well for the 34-year old, who is quickly showing signs of his skills being eroded by age.
Though the addition of Valverde would seemingly only add to the the suffering of Marlins fans with his particularly heart rate-raising style of handling the ninth inning, the team will have to hope that a move to a more forgiving NL will spark a minor career resurgence for Papa Grande.
Or as least a good enough start so that the team can successfully shop him during the season, anyway.