The Tigers were swept out of the World Series, and though it likely wouldn’t have made much of a difference, one of their issues throughout the playoffs was the performance of closer Jose Valverde.
Valverde is now a free agent, and doesn’t appear to be headed back to Detroit despite 110 saves for the Tigers over the last three seasons. Valverde was removed from the closer’s role after blowing a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees — his second consecutive blown save in the playoffs.
So, the Tigers are in the market for a closer, and according to Ken Rosenthal and NESN’s Peter Gammons, they have reached out to agent Scott Boras about his client Rafael Soriano. After Soriano exercised an escape clause with his contract with the Yankees, Mariano Rivera announced that he would be coming back for 2013 (he’s also a free agent, but is expected to re-sign with New York), so Soriano’s future will likely lead him elsewhere.
However, as Rivera’s replacement in 2012 after the future Hall of Famer suffered a broken leg, Soriano flourished. The 32-year-old finished the season with 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA. Although he struggled in 2011 as Rivera’s setup man, in 2010 with Tampa Bay he was also dominant, recording 45 saves and a 1.73 ERA.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 27, 2012