The deal was announced shortly after the Marlins beat the White
Sox 2-1 in 12 innings.
The Marlins acquired Koch and cash from the White Sox, who had
recently replaced the right-hander with Shingo Takatsu -- Japan's
all-time saves leader -- as the team's closer.
"I was sort of expecting it a little bit, but I didn't think
(Florida)," Koch said. "Through the grapevine, I hear things. I
never heard the Marlins, but it'll be good. I like the heat, I like
Koch, 29, never quite fit in with the White Sox after joining
them last season. He appeared in 24 games this season with eight
saves in 11 opportunities and a 1-1 record -- but had a 5.40 ERA.
Koch allowed 24 hits and 15 runs in 23 innings.
"That will be the best scenario for him," White Sox manager
Ozzie Guillen said. "It's a shame it didn't work out for him here
because he was a class act."
The Marlins were in need of bullpen help in the middle innings
to complement a solid starting rotation and closer Armando Benitez.
Before trading for Koch, the Marlins' latest acquisition was
36-year-old Josias Manzanillo, who was called up from
Triple-Albuquerque on Wednesday.
"He's a proven closer who knows how to handle games late,"
Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest said of Koch. "We'll put
him right in that spot, in front of Benitez.
"Maybe a change of scenery will be good for him."
Koch is 28-23 with 163 career saves in six major league seasons
with Toronto, Oakland and Chicago.
The 25-year-old Valdez was hitting .319 in 66 games at
Albuquerque. Florida claimed him off waivers from Montreal in March