The Miami Marlins are reportedly closing in on a one-year contract with free agent right-hander Jose Valverde.
UPDATE - 5:22 p.m. EDT - The earlier report of Valverde closing in on a deal with the Fish is "utterly false," sources have informed Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
Sources: reports of #marlins nearing deal with Jose Valverde are "utterly false."— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) February 4, 2013
UPDATE - 12:49 p.m. EDT - Valverde is in negotiations with several teams, including the Marlins, but no deal is imminent, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
jose valverde is talking to a few teams, including the #marlins. no deal seems imminent.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 4, 2013
Valverde spent the past three seasons as the Detroit Tigers' closer. After a productive 2010 campaign, Valverde converted all 49 of his save opportunities in 2011, earning him a trip to the All-Star game and consideration for the American League Cy Young Award.
However, Valverde was unable to maintain this performance in 2011, as his erratic outings resulted in the right-hander ultimately losing his role as the team's closer. Detroit turned to other options in the playoffs and ultimately decided not to bring back the 34-year-old.
Last season Valverde maintained an ERA of 3.78 with 6.3 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings over 67 appearances. The right-hander owns a career ERA of 3.11 with 9.9 strikeouts and 3.8 walks per nine innings over 10 seasons at the major league level.
Prior to his reported agreement with the Marlins, Valverde was also receiving interest from the New York Mets, among other clubs. The Mets were considering signing Valverde as their closer to replace right-hander Frank Francisco.