Ken Rosenthal reports that Astros closer Jose Valverde may accept arbitration from the Astros, which could result in $10MM or more for the Type-A free agent.
Valverde was offered arbitration last week with the hopes that he would seek a multi-year deal elsewhere and net the Astros two high draft picks. However, as Rosenthal explains, there are numerous late-inning options on the free agent market and several more available via trade.
Valverde may feel that a one-year deal with Houston is his best bet for 2010. While this would solve the Astros' need for a closer, it could also cripple the team financially — bad news when you've already got limited payroll flexibility in the first place.
After missing over six weeks with a calf injury, Valverde finished the season going a perfect 17 of 17 in save chances after the All-Star Break, with a tidy 1.64 ERA, so it's certainly feasible that other teams will have interest in him. And hey, any guy who's tough enough to finish a game and pick up a save after taking a liner off his face should grab your attention.
Who might Valverde end up with if he rejects arbitration, and at what price?