The Arizona Diamondbacks have been monitoring Jose Valverde's availability and will continue to do so, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks' agreement with Bob Howry could mean they're done shopping for bullpen help, but if Valverde's cost makes sense for Arizona, the team could stretch their budget a little to accommodate him.
There are a few factors working in the Diamondbacks' favor, including Valverde's history in Arizona. The right-hander spent his first five years in the majors with the D'Backs, saving 47 games for the club in 2007. Additionally, the Diamondbacks' first round draft pick is protected in 2010, meaning the team would have to concede only a second round pick if they were to sign the Type A free agent. Piecoro points out that the money Arizona would save by not signing that draft pick could also be put toward Valverde's price tag.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney noted a few days ago that the remaining teams without a closer probably can't afford the righty, while Piecoro suggested a creative contract idea that might work for both the Diamondbacks and Valverde. However, even though Valverde may have misread the market, he's still the most dominant relief pitcher available. If and when his asking price drops, we should see plenty of teams besides the D'Backs getting involved.