Source: Valverde to get $14M for 2 years

Updated: January 19, 2010, 11:23 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Detroit Tigers have found their closer.

Jose Valverde and the Tigers reached a preliminary agreement on a $14 million, two-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN.com.

The deal, which will be completed upon Valverde passing his physical, includes a $9 million option for 2012, the source said.

Valverde saved 25 games in 29 chances for Houston last season, then filed for free agency. He was 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 52 appearances.

Before that, the right-hander led the NL in saves in consecutive seasons. He had 47 with Arizona in 2007 and 44 for the Astros in 2008.

Detroit desperately needed a closer after choosing not to re-sign relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon. Rodney received an $11 million, two-year contract from the Los Angeles Angels, and Lyon signed with Houston for $15 million over three years.

The 30-year-old Valverde is 19-19 with a 3.17 ERA and 167 saves in seven major league seasons -- five with the Diamondbacks and two with Houston. He was an All-Star in 2007, when he won the Rolaids Relief Man Award in the NL and finished sixth in Cy Young Award voting.

Valverde is a Type A free agent. He turned down a salary arbitration offer from the Astros, so they would receive compensation for his departure in this year's amateur draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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