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(Former) Astro Valverde Declines Arbitration

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According to Ken Rosenthal, Jose Valverde declined the Astros offer of arbitration, meaning he will cost a first-round draft pick for any team who signs him. Alyson Footer and Brian McTaggart reported at various times during Monday evening that the decision was weighing heavily on his mind and he went back and forth.

Of course, as I detail below, Valverde becomes the best reliever on the market currently and probably will get a multi-year deal. I'm not sure the Astros will retain him now, but this is most likely a good thing long-term for the Astros. Give Bobby Heck another two draft picks to work with and he'll do magic.

In other news:

Rafael Betancourt accepted arbitration from the Rockies while Rafael Soriano accepted arbitration from the Braves. This is yet another sign that the relief market is not what it appears to be. On the other side of that coin, however, is that Brandon Lyon declined arbitration as did Mike Gonzalez. Lyon wasn't staying in Detroit no matter what, but he and M-Gone form the line behind Valverde.

Mark DeRosa declined arbitration with the Cardinals. That means draft pick compensation for St. Louis if he signs elsewhere, but since they gave up young players to get DeRosa last summer anyhow, this isn't really a win for the Cards.

Jason Bay also declined arbitration. This does nothing for the Astros, but was one of the few noteworthy happenings last night.

***DQ Insert***

With this news, Ed Wade is now free to start working the hotel lobby and find us the following things (this list is per a McTaggart tweet earlier today):

Astros GM ranks team needs in this order: Closer, offense, eighth inning reliever and bench.

After lnewcomer and I both made fun of the list, McTaggart clarified that starting pitching didn't make the list because it's too expensive and I guess also not...necessary?.  I guess we can cross that wish off our list.  It's going to be a long week, but at least tomorrow is the hottest day of the hot stove season, and we have that to look forward to.