Mets sign reliever Jose Valverde

Updated: February 12, 2014, 12:43 PM ET
By Adam Rubin |

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Trying to stabilize their bullpen with veteran arms, the New York Mets have signed right-hander Jose Valverde to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Valverde, 35, posted a 5.59 ERA and had nine saves in 12 attempts with the Detroit Tigers last season before ultimately getting released from Triple-A Toledo on Aug. 7.

Valverde went 49-for-49 in save attempts for Detroit in 2011. But the following year he struggled during the playoffs and became a free agent. The Tigers eventually re-signed him to a minor league deal for last season and promoted him in mid-April.

The Mets have brought in Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth on minor league deals as protection with closer Bobby Parnell attempting to return from neck surgery. Set-up man LaTroy Hawkins departed in free agency to the Colorado Rockies.

Parnell has indicated he feels fine, but he is first due to throw off a mound in two weeks. He underwent surgery Sept. 10 to repair the herniated disk.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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