Jose Valverde opts out of deal, released by Padres

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Just a couple weeks ago there were actual stories written by mainstream outlets suggesting Jose Valverde was turning heads in Padres camp, which is the sort of thing that makes paying attention to spring training seem silly.

Valverde has opted out of his minor-league deal upon learning he will not make the Opening Day roster and the Padres granted his release, meaning the 37-year-old former closer is once again a free agent.

Valverde posted an ERA above 5.00 in each of the past two seasons and has now been cut loose by the Tigers, Mets, and Padres since late 2013.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

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The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.