When Jose Valverde struggled to end last season with the Detroit Tigers, the team didn’t re-sign him. They were going to try Bruce Rondon in that position, but he never made it to Opening Day and the team was basically forced to bring back Valverde.
The struggles that have come with that, though, may have forced the hand of the Tigers to making another move.
Valverde blew a save on Wednesday afternoon, and his ERA is now at 4.15. He may have nine saves, but for a team that was expected to run away in the American League Central, that isn’t good enough. The team can blame him for some things, but I think he would be better suited in a different role. Detroit can’t trust him to be the closer for the rest of the season, and should be on the lookout for another closer if they can find one at a good price.
There are pitchers like Carlos Marmol who could be available at a low price, but he has the same problems that Valverde does, so that probably won’t work. I think that the team could be forced into leaving the big guy where he is, but this is something to watch for over the next month. There are going to be other teams that fall out of the playoff race that could open up other possibilities for the Tigers.
They should be looking into every single one of those available pitchers if they want to avoid another season without a World Series title.