Astros win arbitration with Valverde

February 16, 2008 2:48:04 PM PST
The Houston Astros won their arbitration case with closer Jose Valverde on Friday Valverde was asking for $6.2 million and the Astros were offering $4.7 million. The two sides met with an arbitration panel in St. Petersburg on Thursday, the day pitchers and catchers reported to the team's spring training facility.

"We're happy with the decision and happy the issue is off the table," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "Now, we'll focus on getting Jose to camp and serving as our closer."

Houston acquired Valverde from Arizona in mid-December. The 28-year-old right-hander was expected to arrive at spring training on Saturday, manager Cecil Cooper said.

Valverde made $2 million last season, when he led the major leagues with 47 saves with the Diamondbacks.

The Astros have another arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday with infielder Mark Loretta. The team is offering $2.75 million and Loretta is asking for $4.9 million.

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