The Tigers today managed to scrounge up $23 million and invested that in Jose Valverde. The deal is reportedly 2 years and $14 million plus a $9 million option for a 3rd year. For a team looking to be more fiscally responsible and acquire cheap young high end talent to build for the future this move makes no sense.
Valverde is a pretty good pitcher. He fans better than a batter an inning with moderate control making him a 3.47 FIP pitcher for his career. He also brings some experience to a very very young bullpen. There might be some value in that. In short, the Tigers are better than they were yesterday. But…
This is a team, that depending on your take on the situation, was either:
- Trying to get younger and build for the future. Or…
- Trying to shed payroll
Which makes spending $7 million a year the next 2 years for 120 innings perplexing to say the least. Throw in the fact that the Tigers spent the 2008 draft acquiring college relievers who were close to big league ready, and that they insisted on Daniel Schlereth being part of the Granderson/Jackson trade, and none of it makes sense.
The Tigers based on run differential were a .500 team in 2009 and they have moved the wrong direction this year. Even in a weak division I don’t see Valverde being the difference between contending and not contending meaning that Valverde is more luxury than necessity. A luxury that not only costs them money, but also Detroit’s first round draft pick. The kind of pick that would probably be in the top 5 prospects in the Tigers system.
Valverde has accumulated 6.4 wins above replacement in his career. Curtis Granderson accumulated 7.1 WAR in the last 2 seasons, one of which was supposedly so awful the Tigers just had to move him. I just don’t get the Tigers current method of resource allocation.
Image credit: cobalt123 on flickr