Valverde signs minor league deal with Tigers

Concerned about a relief corps thought to be their biggest weakness, the Detroit Tigers have signed a familiar face in Jose Valverde.

The veteran closer agreed to a minor league contract Thursday with the organization that opted not to re-sign him in the offseason following a dismal performance in the playoffs.

Valverde, who will report to the team's spring training complex in Lakeland, gave up nine runs and 11 hits in four postseason appearances.

The move comes a day after Phil Coke failed to nail down the save and allowed a walk-off, two-run double to Eduardo Escobar in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Detroit envisioned youngster Bruce Rondon as the team's potential closer, but he struggled during spring training and was optioned to Triple-A Toledo for more seasoning.

Valverde has recorded 277 career saves.