Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Got a question in the inbox this afternoon:

From Ricardo, in Galveston:
Why aren't you making a big deal about Valverde's age thing?

Well, Ricardo, I'll tell you, because it's a simple explanation:

I don't care.

It doesn't matter if it just came out that Valverde was actually 63 years old, because he's not going to be on the team for more than 24 more games. He might stick around and make overtures about wanting to play in Houston, because it's "nice" here. But it doesn't matter. Valverde made $8 million this year, and because he's been lights out since returning from injuries, his value is up to the point where he'll make at least that much next year, and I don't see the Astros ponying up the cash to retain him.

You want an "elite" closer if you're planning on winning 89+ games. The Astros probably will not be doing that next year. The Astros have paid $8 million (minus the last three weeks of the season) for 22 saves. That's too much. But the Astros haven't given him many opportunities to save a game to warrant that kind of jack.

Through the 5th inning of G139, Valverde has appeared in 44 games. On September 9th of previous seasons?

2008: 67
2007: 61
2006: 37

And so on. I know it's not his fault that he missed so much time due to getting drilled in the leg by Orlando Hudson. But if the Astros do what everyone - including myself - thinks they should do, and start moving in a youthier direction - then there aren't going to be many save opportunities for a guy who may command $10 million a year. Now, if we were in a different situation, and this year was an anomaly, I would be okay with pulling that trigger. But this year isn't an anomaly. Last year, that was an anomaly. This year is a preview of the next two or three years. And by the time the Astros get to the point where they need an elite closer, Valverde will be 34, 35, 36 years old.

No, I don't care much about Valverde's age. He's someone else's free agent problem.

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