User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Valverde welcomed back as Tigers closer

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

DETROIT (AP) - Jose Valverde wasn't supposed to come back.

Advertisement
After his postseason meltdowns against Oakland and the Yankees, the Detroit Tigers didn't even offer him a contract at the end of last season. Flame-throwing prospect Bruce Rondon looked set to be the new closer, even if he had never pitched an inning in the major leagues.

It didn't quite work out that way.

And now Valverde is back on the team.

And he went right to work Wednesday night, getting the final three outs for a save in the Tigers' 7-5 victory over Kansas City.

He gets $2 million in base salary. Because he missed the first 3 1/2 weeks of the season, the listed salary on the contract is $2,301,887. Valverde can earn up to $3 million in performance bonuses if he finishes 50 games. He will be paid $500,000 apiece for 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 games finished.

Rondon lost the job during in spring training, closer-by-committee didn't work and Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski decided that Valverde wasn't a bad option after all. Detroit signed him to a minor-league deal, but only needed a couple extended spring training games and three innings in High A to decide that ``The Great Potato'' was ready to close.

``I'm surprised at how quickly this has gone,'' Dombrowski said. ``We were expecting to have him pitch in Lakeland and then in (Triple-A) Toledo, but he's thrown the ball so well that we decided to pull the trigger right now. He's throwing 95 consistently, he's hitting 97, and his splitter is back. He looks like the pitcher we had two years ago than the one we had last season.''

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that Valverde will move right back into the closer's role, and he showed up on Wednesday 15 pounds lighter, sporting a two-toned beard and having ditched his trademark glasses.

``I'm excited to be back here,'' he said. ``It's exciting to be back with this team and be back with Jim Leyland. I'm back in Detroit with all my friends.''

He said that he's throwing harder, but thinks last year's problems were more postseason fatigue - he had pitched 151 innings over two seasons.

``I had good location last season - I don't think that was a problem,'' he said. ``I'm throwing 97 right now. Everyone knows what happened last year, but I think I was just tired. That was it.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Iskoe: Daily Pitchers Report
Dodgers complete sweep of Giants, 4-3
Rangers struggle again in 9-3 loss to A's
Ortiz's 3-run homer helps BoSox end skid
Jays win first series in Bronx in two years
Fister, Nats handcuffs slumping Reds, 4-2
Duda, deGrom deliver, Mets blank Brewers
Wainwright, Holliday leads Cards past Cubs
Freese homers late, Angels top Tigers
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
18-6 L24 Guarantees, +8,035 TY
10-2 L3 Days, 13-5 L18 Totals
15-3 L18 Totals, +2,700 This Year
5-1 L6 Over/Unders, +2,209 TY
5-2 L2 Days, 19-10 +1,203 L29
17-4 L21 G-Plays, +1,869 TY
3-0 Yesterday, 19-8 L27 Streak
4 Straight Guaranteed Wins
6-2 L8, 12-6 +606 L5 Days
6-3 L9, 12-6 +573 L18 Guarantees
3-0 +320 Y'day, +2,557 TY
5-1, +449 L6 Guaranteed Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Antony Dinero
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 8075
Bruce Marshall + 2949
The Gold Sheet + 2557
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3379
James Manos + 2687
Dave Cokin + 1377
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2304
Matt Zylbert + 1874
Tony Stoffo + 1489
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1194
Doc's Sports + 937
Kevin Rogers + 832
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3675
Mike Rose + 1572
Kevin Rogers + 1541
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 2156
Bruce Marshall + 1461
The Gold Sheet + 1124
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!