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Valverde welcomed back as Tigers closer

Wednesday - 4/24/2013, 10:46pm  ET

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde, left, laughs with Torii Hunter in the dugout before a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Detroit, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) -- Jose Valverde wasn't supposed to come back.

After his postseason meltdowns against Oakland and the Yankees, the Detroit Tigers didn't even offer him a contract at the end of last season. Flame-throwing prospect Bruce Rondon looked set to be the new closer, even if he had never pitched an inning in the major leagues.

It didn't quite work out that way.

And now Valverde is back on the team.

And he went right to work Wednesday night, getting the final three outs for a save in the Tigers' 7-5 victory over Kansas City.

He gets $2 million in base salary. Because he missed the first 3
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