I can't believe it. Those of you who read AC yesterday know I spent all day getting myself ready for Valverde accepting arbitration. But it didn't happen. Valverde declined arbitration and will opt for free agency, saving the Astros' off-season.
“We didn't get arbitration. We gave a chance to Houston and let them make an offer, and they didn't offer anything. So I'll remain a free agent. Houston had a chance. They traded me for three players in 2007, and I thought I did an excellent job for them. I feel good about the two years I played for them. They have great fans. I can't complain about them. They had me for two years doing an excellent job.
Another arbitration wasn't for me. If they want to win with young players, that's good. But a team like that has to invest to win. The GM said he wanted me, but if he really wanted me, he would have offered something. He never offered me any type of offer or anything. They had a chance to make an offer, and they never made it. It was always, ‘Well talk tomorrow.' Then when the time ended for the first offer, they said we'd talk later. They never, never made me an offer."
“We can still have the ability to sign him, and we certainly will reach out to see if there's an ability to sign him. But there are alternatives in the market, and we'll be aggressive exploring them.”
Now, I'm surprised by how snippy Valverde got. Surely his agent told him, "Hey, they're reducing payroll, so they probably won't be real aggressive in trying to sign you." Maybe he didn't. It's easy for me to sit here on my couch, bleary-eyed and freebasing coffee, to think "Jeez, Valverde, lighten up." But I get it. The Astros didn't even try to make him an offer to bring back a closer who has led the NL in saves twice. Ed Wade didn't say, "We'd like to have you back, but Drayton hasn't given me my allowance?"
That said, what do you think about how Wade apparently handled the discussion? I can't blame him for trying to delay the conversation, but does this strike you as shady?
But hey, at least nobody got choke-slammed.