Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/29/13
The Tigers have been searching the trade market for a closer since the middle of spring training. Monday they got one. And he's not going to close. "Benoit is my closer period" manager Jim Leyland said a few minutes after the deal for Jose Veras was announced. That should hardly come as a surprise given that Joaquin Benoit has been basically perfect in the ninth inning in the month since the Tigers dumped Jose Valverde for the second time. Benoit has a string of 12 consecutive scoreless appearances (including six saves) and he has allowed just eight hits with three walks and 15 strikeouts in that time. His success and his willingness to embrace the roll (after first resisting it) allowed the Tigers to shift their trade efforts towards acquiring someone who they could work in with Drew Smyly in a setup role. Leyland said he plans to use Veras "from the seventh inning on." The 32-year-old Veras was having the best season of his career with the Astros who deserve credit for signing him as a free agent and then building his value so they could get something back for him. Veras went 19 for 22 in save situations with Houston with a 1.000 WHIP that is the best of his career.
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