The Mets have signed free-agent RHP Jose Valverde to a minor league contract with an invite to major league Spring Training.
4:09 pm: “We were looking for a veteran presence in the bullpen, he does have some experience closing, but this is not a move to displace Bobby Parnell,” Sandy Alderson said after the signing was announced (Daily News, Feb. 12). “We signed him to a minor league contract and we’ll see how he throws in spring training.”
10:14 am: Valverde, 35, has recorded 296 saves during his 11-year career.
He is best known for his time with the Tigers, where he posted a 3.00 ERA and struck 7.9 batters per nine innings, while recording 110 saves from 2010 to 2012. However, last season he struggled, was demoted and eventually designated for assignment with a 5.59 ERA after just 20 relief appearances with Detroit.
Alderson said Tuesday on WFAN that he had been looking to acquire an experience relief pitcher to compete with Kyle Farnsworth, among others, for a spot in the team’s bullpen.
The Mets reportedly showed interest in Valverde last offseason, as well.
He can earn $1 million if he makes the team (Heyman Feb. 12).
Nicknamed “Papa Grande,” Valverde is notorious for his grandiose celebrations and antics when securing saves.