The Chronicle is reporting the Astros avoided one of the more awkward situations in baseball whenthe agreed with Jose Valverde on a one-year, $8 million deal. What do I mean by awkward? You say you're worth $x. Your team says, "You're good, but you ain't worth that. You're worth $y. Please play for us."
Just so we're all clear, K-Rod will make $8.5 million for the Mets in 2009 after leading the Majors in saves with 62 in 2008
Then there's Valverde, with 44 saves - $8 million
Joakim Soria (42 saves) made $426,500 in 2008
Brad Lidge (41 saves) will make $11.5 million
Jonathan Papelbon (41 saves) made $775,000
Brian Wilson (41 saves) made $396,500
Mariano Rivera (39 saves) will make $15 million
Joe Nathan (39 saves) will make $11.25 million
Kerry Wood (34 saves) will make $10 million
Francisco Cordero (34 saves) will make $8.5 million
There you have it. Those are your top 10 save leaders for 2008, and with the exception of Papelbon (who is going to make some jack soon), Joakim Soria and Brian Wilson - not the Beach Boys one - Valverde will be cheaper than seven of your top ten closers for 2008.
Important to note also, Valverde will be a free agent at the end of the year. Which means somebody else is going to have to close in 2010, because Valverde (who will be 32 on Opening Day 2010) will command a three-year $30-40 million deal. That's, of course, in 2007 dollars - and we all have seen the market has changed. Will the Astros keep Valverde? Will Bud Norris or Brad James be that man?
What do you think of this situation?