Valverde's best offer reportedly from Tigers

Leave a comment

The Detroit Tigers are making a bit of noise today regarding their bullpen situation.

First, Jason Beck of MLB.com tweets that they have avoided arbitration with reliever Joel Zumaya, signing him to a one-year contract at undisclosed terms (he made $735,000 last season).

Zumaya, a strikeout and walk machine who battled injuries all of last season — and once hurt himself playing Guitar Hero — figures to be the leading candidate to land Detroit’s closer job after Fernando Rodney wisely took an insane offer to join the Angels.

Don’t pencil Zumaya into that spot just yet, however. Jon Paul Morosi at Fox reports that the Tigers “are believed to have the biggest current offer out to free-agent closer Jose Valverde.”

He also writes that the sides aren’t close to an agreement, though. Despite leading the NL in saves in both 2007 and 2008, the market just hasn’t been there for Valverde this offseason, so the Tigers might be in good shape to land him if they just stay patient.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.