Jose Valverde is back as the Detroit Tigers closer.

The team announced they signed the relief pitcher to a 1-year major-league deal shortly after their game with the Kansas City Royals tonight was postponed. He will be available out of the bullpen Wednesday as the team’s closer if there is a save situation, manager Jim Leyland said.

Leyland said he couldn't wait to put Jose Valverde's name on the lineup card and said if he would use him Wednesday in the closer's role if that situation arises.

“He’s a very popular guy, he’s a very warm guy, he’s a very great teammate, one of the best I’ve ever been around,” Leyland said. “I just hope that this works out. This would be great for the Tigers, it would be great for Jose Valverde. But I’m not going to put the cart before the horse. Let’s just wait and see what happens and see how many days he can go in a row. He never turned down the ball as long as I had him here. He was a true soldier. He was. I think the world of him and I’ll just be glad to see him.”

One day after pitching a third shutout inning at Single-A Lakeland, Valverde was seen today on a flight to Detroit, according to ESPN NHL writer Craig Custance, who also was on the flight. Custance later said he spoke with Valverde, saying he expects to sign a 1-year deal with the Tigers. He had no plans of going to Triple-A Toledo.