Mets sign Jose Valverde to minor league deal with an invitation to spring training

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

The search for a closer-type entity has been completed?

It's no secret that the Mets are looking for bullpen help prior to the opening of the 2014 season. The team reportedly made bids on Grant Balfour and Fernando Rodney before the two relievers signed elsewhere. Today, the Mets settled for something less, inking Jose "Papa Grande" Valverde to a minor league contract.

Valverde will be 36 years old on Opening Day, and he has collected 286 saves during his 10-year career. The right-hander just wrapped up a four-year stint as closer for the Detroit Tigers. Although he wasn't in the team's initial plans last season, he signed with Detroit in April and saved nine games while blowing three before being released in August.

In 19.1 innings in 2013, Valverde posted a 5.59 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 19 strikeouts and six walks. The big guy isn't MLB closer material anymore, but he still appears to have the stuff necessary to help out in a pinch.

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