Happy Holidays indeed.
Diego Valeri has signed a multi-year contract extension with the Portland Timbers, the team announced via press release today. The length and terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) was used in the deal.
This thankfully brings to an end a drawn out and somewhat messy contract negotiation saga, in which it was reported that the player was seeking a larger contract that would pay him at the level of a Designated Player, and the club was reportedly hesitant to offer a DP contract to the 33-year-old midfielder.
Ultimately though, the two sides were able to come together to a get a deal done to keep the team’s all-time leader in goals and assists in the Rose City. Reports surfaced last month that Valeri had signed a new deal, and now today we can finally confirm that the former MVP will continue to grace the field at Providence Park, wearing green & gold.
Timbers fans everywhere can now breathe a huge sigh of relief. There was genuine concern that the two sides would be unable to come to an agreement and that Valeri would walk away for another team, which was only amplified as it came at the end of a frustrating and disappointing 2019 season. But seeing the team and player finally come to a deal in which all sides are happy elicits a reassurance and satisfaction that fans have rarely felt this season.
It is significant that Valeri returns on a TAM deal, as it means that the team will enter the heart of the offseason with two DP slots open. This gives the team maximum flexibility to sign players as they look to strengthen the roster, especially in the wake of Brian Fernandez’s departure from the team.
This was a huge piece of business that Portland needed to address this offseason, and it has thankfully reached a conclusion where all parties are satisfied. With Valeri remaining in the fold, the offseason acquisitions are already off to a strong start. The team will undoubtedly be busy with more comings and going in the coming weeks as the preparation for 2020 truly gets into swing.