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.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.