Tigers exercise option to keep RHP Jose Valverde



DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers have exercised their option to keep closer Jose Valverde under contract next season.

The team announced the move Friday. Valverde signed a $14 million, two-year deal in 2010 with the club holding a $9 million option for 2012.

The right-hander has been an All-Star twice in Detroit. He helped the Tigers win a division title this year for the first time since 1987.

Valverde led baseball with 49 saves in 2011. He became the third player in major league history to save at least 40 saves without blowing an opportunity. Brad Lidge did it three years ago for Philadelphia and Eric Gagne pulled off the feat in 2003 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 33-year-old Valverde has 242 career saves with Detroit, Arizona and Houston.