Astros close Jose Valverde told MLB.com that he intends to test the open market when his contract expires at the end of this season. This probably comes as no surprise to the Astros, considering the recent contracts given out to top closers on the market.
"I want to come back," said Valverde, who led the National League in saves in 2007 with the D-backs and '08 with the Astros. "This is a good team and a good city, too. The thing is I have to have the season over first and check out what happens. There are other teams, too, that need closers other than Houston, like Chicago [Cubs]. I have to check the market and see what happens."
Valverde will be 32 by the 2010 season, meaning he could likely command a three year deal. Valverde is putting good numbers, putting up a career best ERA in 43 appearances.
|2009 - Jose Valverde||3-2||44||0||0||0||22||4||46.0||32||11||10||5||17||51||1.96||1.07|
The Cubs could target Valverde for bullpen help, but with Carlos Marmol putting up good second half numbers, they will likely pass. The Astros may be his best fit considering teams like the Phillies and Tigers already have closers in place. The Braves would like to bring Rafael Soriano back, sources say, and the Marlins have several players going to arbitration that either need to be signed or traded.
Do you see a team opening the pocket book for Valverde?