Numbers must not be the best friends of the Houston Astros, and no, I'm not talking about the team's 61-78 record.
Thinking they had put age discrepancies in the past when they finally figured out Miguel Tejada's real age, it must have come as a shock to GM Ed Wade when Jose Valverde came into the mix in regards to that same scenario.
"I can't remember when it was, but it was brought to our attention there was a discrepancy in his age," Wade said. "We corrected it on all our documents. We changed it to the appropriate date in the media guide. I can't remember how it was brought to our attention."
You don't remember how it was brought to your attention? Maybe your first hint could have been Valverde getting a senior citizen discount at Denny's ... or the fact that Valverde had a different birthday listed on his Web site than the team's major league site. Either way, this case is overblown, seeing that we're talking about months, and not years.
So, where do the Cubs fit into this?
Despite Carlos Marmol settling in just fine in the closer's role, the Cubs could still be out searching for a ninth-inning shutdown guy and Valverde is the best out there. The Astros closer has 22 saves, a 1.91 earned run average and a 1.043 WHIP. He strikes out more than 3 batters per every walk allowed and has registered 10-to-1 strikeouts-per-nine ratio.
If there is no other reason than to sign Valverde, whose statistics indicate he is the anti-Kevin Gregg, just check out his career numbers against the Cubs.
14 saves, 0.74 ERA, 37 strikeouts (only 10 walks), 0.699 WHIP, 24.1 IP
Valverde has already said he would test the open market, and has already pegged Chicago's North Side as a potential landing pad.
"I want to come back. This is a good team and a good city, too. The thing is I have to have the season over first and check out what happens. There are other teams, too, that need closers other than Houston, like Chicago [Cubs]. I have to check the market and see what happens."
This is where I will encourage Tom Ricketts to make his first big splash as an owner and use the "if you can't beat 'em, bring 'em over" method.
It worked out fine with Derrek Lee, right?