Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The New York Mets were previously linked to Jose Valverde this offseason, but then they signed Brandon Lyon. Even with closer Frank Francisco not ready for Opening Day, the club has some additional depth with Bobby Parnell. Yet, they still may have some interest in Valverde.
If the New York Mets were still in the market for a closer, Jose Valverde could be a viable option. However, they have Frank Francisco. Wait, he's injured. They have Brandon Lyon. But he's not going to close. Well, at least they have Bobby Parnell. Even though it would seem the Mets have options, Valverde is a proven closer and could step in to hold the spot while Francisco recovers.
Sure, Valverde had his issues last season, but Ken Davidoff of the New York Post says the club still has the door slightly ajar for a possible Valverde signing. Mets' owner Fred Wilpon is out of debt (supposedly), and he could spend some money on a free agent. But is Valverde the player they really want?
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Last season was a year to forget for Jose Valverde. He blew five saves in the regular season last year and one more in the postseason. The five regular season blown saves were not a career-high (he had seven in 2007 and 2008), but it marked his highest total in four years. It was especially surprising to see Valverde's struggles considering the fantastic 2011 season he had.
In 2011, Valverde saved 49 games and did not blow a single opportunity. He posted the second-lowest ERA of his career that season as well. But then 2012 happened. Valverde struggled to the tune of a 3.78 ERA and only 35 saves. This is what has many teams concerned. This is why Valverde did not get another shot in Detroit.
The Mets may take a look at Valverde, and he may be a viable one-year option, but the 34-year old closer will likely have to show he can re-gain his consistency before a team signs him to a multi-year deal. New York is rebuilding, so if they were to sign Valverde, he would have to bring something to the table that could help the club's future. One possibility could be mid-season trade value if Valverde performs well.
For now, though, the Mets are slowing shutting the door. If only they could just remove Valverde's foot from the door jamb.