Veteran relief pitcher and former big league closer Jose Valverde has been slapped with an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball for a positive test for performance enhancing drugs.
Valverde tested positive for the Stanozolol, a man made testosterone replacement with a nasty list of side effects. It is also commonly used in bodybuilding, but is also used to boost performance of race horses. You can actually get Stanozolol from a doctor with a prescription for artificial testosterone replacement, but it is a Schedule III drug controlled by the FDA. If Valverde got Stanozolol illegally, then he could be in trouble with the law as well.
The 37-year old Valverde is currently a free agent after exercising an opt out in his minor league contract with the Washington Nationals earlier in the season after a successful 2015 campaign in AAA which saw him pitch 26 1/3 innings with a 2.39 ERA, striking out 23 and only walking three. He had hoped that another club would add him to the big league roster because of his successes at AAA, but no team came calling and he’s been at home since. He joined the Nationals organization after spending spring training with the San Diego Padres, but opted out of his contract after not making the big club out of camp.
It’s hard to see Jose Valverde ever getting another big league job considering he will be out of baseball into the beginning of next season. Valverde pitched in 12 big league seasons amassing 288 career saves and a 3.27 ERA. His best season came in Detroit in 2011 where he had 49 saves and a 2.24 ERA. His 288 career saves puts him 29th all time.
Valverde last appeared in a big league game for the New York Mets in 2014 where he had a 5.66 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. Before that he spent four seasons with the Detroit Tigers, two seasons with the Houston Astros, and five years with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
According to his Baseball Reference page, he’s made just over $41,600,000 dollars in his big league career.
Good luck to whatever life holds for you Mr. Valverde. You were always entertaining to watch close games. Your mojo on the mound was imitated by many but never mastered.