Fernando Valenzuela has declined the Dodgers’ offer to join the team in spring training and try to win a job as a relief pitcher, his agent said Monday.
“We appreciate the invitation, but we’re not going to accept it,” agent Tony DeMarco said. “We’re going to sit out for a while. We’re not seeking out anybody.”
DeMarco declined to say whether Valenzuela still hoped to pursue a return to the major leagues. Valenzuela, 38, won 141 games for the Dodgers from 1980-90, winning the Cy Young Award in his first full season in 1981 and pitching a no-hitter in his final season. He has not pitched in the majors since the St. Louis Cardinals released him in July 1997, but his strong season in the Mexican winter league stirred the Dodgers’ interest.
“We thought it was the right thing to do,” said Dodger General Manager Kevin Malone, who spoke with DeMarco on Monday. “It would have been a longshot, but we would have been willing to take that chance.”