The Nationals have reached agreement on a minor league deal with righty Jose Valverde, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported (Twitter links) that an arrangement was in the works.
The veteran reliever spent the spring with the Padres, working to a 4.15 ERA over 8 2/3 innings while striking out eight and walking only one batter. But with San Diego carrying a loaded pen that was not due to include him, Valverde opted out of his deal.
Valverde enjoyed a long run of success as a closer earlier in his career, but has struggled to get outs over the past two seasons. Between his time with the Tigers in 2013 and his run with the Mets last year, Valverde has tossed 40 frames of 5.63 ERA ball. He has posted 9.5 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 in that stretch, but has been victimized by the long ball.
Metrics suggest he has been a bit unlucky as well, though only SIERA sees his work as being above average across 2013-14. All said, the Nats will presumably look to get what they can out of the 37-year-old as they seek to deal with performance issues and injuries to Craig Stammen and Casey Janssen.