7:42pm: Valverde told the Houston Chronicle's Jose De Jesus Ortiz Wednesday evening that the age discrepancy was out of his hands. "My (birth year) is 1978," he confirmed. "Go to the Dominican and check it out. It doesn't matter if it's '78 or '79, I'll still be a free agent after this season."
2:42pm: Lisa Gray and I stumbled across an age discrepancy with Astros closer Jose Valverde yesterday. Some sources had his birth date as July 24th, 1979, while others had it as March 24th, 1978. The Astros confirmed to me that the latter date is correct; Valverde will be 32 when the 2010 season begins.
Astros GM Ed Wade told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that the extra year (actually 15 months) "is of no great consequence." Wade told McTaggart there was a paperwork mistake at some point in Valverde's past. Wade also brushed it off when Miguel Tejada's two-year age discrepancy came to light in April of '08. Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes told me that his team was not aware of Valverde's 1978 birth date when he traded the reliever to the Astros in December of '07.
It's true that the age discrepancy doesn't affect the Astros; they're unlikely to pony up the cash to re-sign their closer. They'll still probably offer arbitration and get their draft picks. But since Valverde presumably seeks a three-year deal for more than $30MM, the age difference may affect him.