Not so fast: Jose Valverde hasn’t signed with the Diamondbacks

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UPDATE: Heyman now says Valverde has not signed and remains a free agent, adding “I miss-interpreted a text” that led him to believe it was a done deal.

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Man, talk about getting the band back together.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that one day after trading for White Sox closer Addison Reed the Diamondbacks have signed Jose Valverde to a minor-league deal, reuniting with the reliever who saved a league-leading 47 games for them way back in 2007.

Arizona traded Valverde to Houston after that season and now he returns trying to save his career following a season in which he pitched just 19 mostly bad innings before being released by Detroit at age 35.

Valverde is just one year removed from saving 35 games with a 3.78 ERA for the Tigers, but even then his secondary numbers had deteriorated and Papa Grande’s odds of succeeding as more than a middle reliever seem pretty slim at this point.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.