Despite racking up 110 saves and 180 strikeouts for the Tigers in the past three seasons, Jose Valverde has not joined any of the 30 MLB teams for Spring Training this year (though agent Scott Boras has made it clear that "several teams are interested"). When made aware of this last week, Jim Leyland offered high praise of Valverde.
"I’m shocked," Leyland said. "Totally shocked. Broken-hearted. Can’t believe it. This guy was absolutely fantastic, absolutely fantastic for us. One of the best teammates I’ve ever managed. He did as good a job … for three years in a row, he had the most saves and the best percentage. I can’t believe it."
Leyland stopped short of saying that he wanted Valverde back on the roster, but hinted that this might have more to do with the Tigers fanbase than the organization's attitude toward the mercurial reliever.
Tigers should offer Jose Valverde a contract
Bless You Boys | Feb 17