Valverde decision good news for Astros
The Astros and closer Jose Valverde are likely to part ways after the All-Star closer rejected the club’s offer of arbtration late Monday. That’s not to say the Astros won’t try to re-sign Valverde, but they view him as the most talented closer on the free-agent market, which means he’s going to come at a high price.
The best option for the Astros at this point will be to pursue a closer at a lower cost than Valverde — Mike Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg or Fernando Rodney, anyone? — and still have some money to sign LaTroy Hawkins or another reliever. The Astros are also in the market for a third baseman to add some offensive punch and they need some bench help.
The Braves could be willing trade reliever Rafael Soriano, who accepted arbitration Monday.
If Valverde signs with another team, the Astros will get two draft picks, which is never a bad things. Houston could keep those picks or that use them to sign their own Type A free agent without having to worry about the cost of losing draft picks. The Astros might have tried to put a sad face on the Valverde decision, but it’s probably for the best when you consider the economics.