UPDATE: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald now says Rojas’ report is “utterly false.” So, you know, I maybe wrote all that brilliant, cutting edge analysis for nothing.
Jose Valverde is close to signing a one-year deal with the Marlins, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
Valverde lost his closer job in Detroit at the end of last season and predictably failed to garner much interest as a 34-year-old free agent after his strikeout rate plummeted to a career-low 6.3 per nine innings.
Still, he saved 35 games with a 3.78 ERA last season and has averaged 38 saves during the past six years, so the Marlins get a cheap closer option and Valverde gets an opportunity to bounce back while fighting Steve Cishek for save chances on a non-contending team.
Plus, his post-save theatrics will look especially ridiculous on a last-place team.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.