The name of Jose Veras, may not bring the same unbridled excitement of a Joe Nathan or Jonathan Papelbon acquisition but the newest Detroit Tiger may be just what the team is looking for. Veras was acquired in a deal completed this morning with the Houston Astros in exchange for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later, whose identity will be revealed by September 15th.
The 32-year old Veras, was in the midst of his finest major league season as a first-time closer in the back of the Astros bullpen. In 43 innings pitched, he registered 19 saves while posting a 2.93 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, and 45.3% groundball rate.
Signed to a team friendly one-year, 2MM deal with a 3.25 MM club option for 2014. The Tigers may have found an additional option at the closing position, that has watched the incumbent closer Jose Valverde implode before being demoted to Triple-A Toledo in June. In the period since, set-up man Joaquin Benoit has filled in aptly in the role, but the need to amplify the overall state of the bullpen led GM Dave Dombrowski to the trade market in search of a late inning reinforcement.
"Jose can pitch in a variety of roles, provides depth in the bullpen, and complements the roles of Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly," Dombrowski said.
Vasquez, formerly one of Detroit's top outfield prospects heads to the Houston system on the strength of a strong season in Class A. At just 19 years old, Vazquez has provided a .281/.333/.390 line at West Michigan as the team's leadoff man and starting left fielder. He was recently ranked fourth on MLB.com's Top 20 Tigers prospects list released over the all-star break.
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