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.
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.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.