The possibility still exists for the Mets to add Jose Valverde to the roster as the team’s closer. According to an article by Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the door remains “slightly ajar” for such an event to transpire. This is probably not a wise idea for the Mets, although if he can be signed cheaply he may well provide some insurance for the bullpen.
Valverde saw his K/9 rate plummet a year ago, from 8.6 the prior season all the way down to 6.3 in 2012. Worse, that downward trend has actually been in effect since 2007 — his strikeout rate has dropped by various amounts each successive season since, and it doesn’t appear to be done yet based on last year’s alarming decline. These lower rates are accompanied by a dip in fastball velocity, with last season’s 93.3 more than 2 MPH slower than where it was in 2009.
To say that Valverde is well into his decline state at 34 is not exactly up for debate, but he’s still a decent enough big league reliever. FanGraphs values his efforts last year as having been worth 0.8 WAR, and for a guy who throws 60 innings a season, that’s more than respectable. As long as the Mets are aware that Valverde’s best days are most likely behind him and compensate him accordingly, a deal could still be beneficial for the team. That said, he probably won’t deserve the closer mantle.