Valverde signs Minor League deal with Nationals

Veteran reliever is three-time league saves champion

Valverde signs Minor League deal with Nationals

Jose Valverde might be coming back to the big leagues. Valverde, a veteran of 12 big league seasons, has signed a Minor League deal with the Washington Nationals, a source said on Wednesday.

Valverde, who has 288 career saves, last pitched in the Majors for the New York Mets and had a 5.66 ERA last season. He went to Spring Training this year with the Padres.

The Nationals have not announced the signing.

The 37-year-old Valverde, a three-time All-Star, has registered a 27-33 record and a 3.27 ERA in 626 appearances in the Major Leagues. The right-hander has led his league in games finished on three occasions and also in saves three times, and he broke the 40-save barrier three times between 2007-11.

Valverde has pitched for four teams -- Arizona, Detroit, Houston and New York -- over the course of his career, and he's logged 400 of his 626 appearances in the National League. Valverde has a 3.30 career ERA in the NL, but he had a 3.22 mark in 226 games in the American League.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.