Padres sign Jose Valverde

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According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Padres have signed reliever Jose Valverde. It’s presumably a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Valverde, who turns 37 in March, posted a 5.66 ERA and 23/10 K/BB ratio over 20 2/3 innings with the Mets last season before being released in late May. It’s easy to forget this, but he actually served as New York’s closer for a stretch after Bobby Parnell’s Tommy John surgery and went 2-for-4 in save opportunities. The Mets turned to Jenrry Mejia after Valverde’s release and the bullpen actually became a strength as the year moved along.

Valverde is unlikely to be trusted with a late-inning role again, but the Padres are at least willing to see if he has anything left in the tank.

Cardinals-White Sox opener pushed back to Saturday

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CHICAGO — St. Louis’ series opener against the Chicago White Sox has been postponed to Saturday, giving the Cardinals an extra day to recover from a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Cardinals, who haven’t played since July 29, were set to resume their season Friday night in Chicago. But the series opener was pushed back to a straight doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, the beginning of an extended stay in the Windy City for the Cards.

There was no word from Major League Baseball on the postponement, but John Mozeliak, the president of baseball operations for the Cardinals, confirmed the move in a conference call with reporters. Mozeliak also said the team is going to play doubleheaders on Monday and Wednesday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field after the NL Central rivals had a series postponed last weekend.

Two people with direct knowledge of the situation also confirmed the postponement of the series opener against the White Sox. The people spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because MLB had not announced the schedule change.

The Cardinals’ season has been derailed by the coronavirus. Star catcher Yadier Molina and infielder Paul DeJong are among the players who have tested positive.

St. Louis, the defending NL Central champions, has played just five games, winning two. It seems unlikely that it will be able to make up every one of its games that have been postponed during the pandemic-delayed season.

While announcing Sunday night that St. Louis’ series against Pittsburgh had been postponed, MLB said the league and the Cardinals believed it was “prudent to conduct additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play.”