Righty Jose Valverde has been suspended for eighty games, the league announced today. He was punished for testing positive for stanozolol, a banned performance-enhancing substance.
Valverde played most recently at the Triple-A level in the Nationals organization, throwing 26 1/3 innings of 2.39 ERA ball. He struck out 7.2 and walked 1.0 batters per nine in that span, but ultimately exercised an opt-out clause and took his release. Valverde spent the spring with the Padres but elected free agency when he wasn’t added to the active roster to start the season.
Once the Tigers’ closer, Valverde lost the gig during a rough 2013 season. He opened 2014 with the Mets, but was again cut loose after struggling. All told, Valverde has only thrown forty innings, putting up a 5.63 ERA, since the end of the 2012 campaign.
It already seemed that the 12-year big league veteran could be near the end of the line, particularly given that he had yet to sign since being released nearly a month ago. Certainly, the suspension will make it much more difficult for him to find another opportunity.