Veteran reliever Jose Valverde has found a team, signing a minor-league deal with the Washington Nationals, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
The 37-year-old is several years removed from his prime, but was an All-Star closer in 2007, 2010 and 2011. Valverde was in spring training with the Padres this season, but opted out of his deal after not making the major league roster with San Diego.
Valverde is already working out at the Nationals spring training facility in Florida, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal:
Why do the Nationals need Valverde?
Valverde will provide depth for a Nationals that has a pair of right-handers, Rafael Martin and Craig Stammen, on the disabled list. Fellow righties Casey Janssen and Erik Jones are also on the disabled list, but have not yet appeared in a game in 2015.
Washington currently has four righties in its bullpen, only two of which, Aaron Barrett and Blake Treinen, would be classified as middle relievers. The others are closer Drew Storen and long man Tanner Roark.
What does Valverde bring to the Nationals?
Valverde spent last season with the Mets, posting a 5.66 ERA in 20⅔ innings over the course of 21 appearances. He spent the previous four seasons with Detroit, with a 3.22 ERA in 226 appearances for the Tigers as well as 119 saves, including a career-high 49 in 2011. Before moving to Detroit he spent time with both Houston and Arizona.
Despite his recent decline, Valverde can be a reliable, veteran arm in the bullpen for the Nationals should further need for one arise.