Earlier this morning, after the Washington Nationals' big 13-12 comeback win over the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field last night, we talked to Baseball in the District radio hosts Tim Murray of ESPN980 and Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com and NatsInsider.com about Dan Uggla coming through with a big game for the Nationals and some of the other unlikely heroes who stepped up for the Nats. We also discussed the possibility of the Nationals making a bullpen addition with some of the back end arms up and down early this season and Casey Janssen still working his way back from tendinitis in his right shoulder.
After speculating about whether or not Grant Balfour might be a fit, we discussed the possibility of adding a veteran arm, whether it was Balfour or someone else. An hour or so later, the Nationals have apparently done just that, with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com both reporting that the Nats have agreed to a minor league deal with 37-year-old veteran Jose Valverde:
Valverde deal with #Nationals, in fact, may already be done. He is uniform at their spring-training complex, according to one source.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 29, 2015
valverde has deal with nationals. @Ken_Rosenthal said close— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 29, 2015
Valverde, a one-time Diamondbacks' reliever who came up through the D-Backs' system while current Nats' GM Mike Rizzo was in Arizona, signed a free agent deal with San Diego this winter, but was released by the Padres on April 2nd.
In his 12th major league season in 2014, Valverde made 21 appearances out of the bullpen for the New York Mets, putting up a 5.66 ERA, a 4.87 FIP, 10 walks (4.35 BB/9) and 23 Ks (10.02 K/9) in 20 ⅔ IP.
Over the course of his career, the right-hander has saved 288 games, with a 3.27 ERA, a 3.66 FIP, 3.77 BB/9 and 9.88 K/9 in 630 ⅓ IP.
• Check out our appearance on Baseball in the District's latest episode which also features NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman sharing his thoughts on the Nationals' big win last night: